Things You Should Know About Ballot Fraud
- Over the past ten years, American citizens have voted on 1,500 initiatives and referenda, and campaigners have raised and spent well over one billion dollars on the passage or defeat of issues that have a real impact on people's lives. Many times these initiatives make their way to voters through fraudulent behavior.
- Ballot fraud is any attempt to mislead voters or qualify a ballot measure in a way that skirts the rules. This includes misleading ballot titles, fake signatures, or people gathering signatures who aren't allowed to do so.
- Today, many petitions are carried by hired-gun petitioners who travel from state to state carrying any petition (sometimes as many as 12 at a time!), regardless of the topic.
- Many of these circulators are paid per signature. This profit motive encourages bending or breaking state laws, such as residency requirements, to get a larger paycheck.
- Some of the required state forms can be submitted with incomplete or misleading information such as inserting local addresses that do not exist.
- Circulators often lie to get citizens to sign their petitions.
[*Source: Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, Ballot Integrity: A Broken System in Need of Solutions, A State By State Report Card, July 2010, pp. 17-19.]
- Press Release on Attorney General Dismissing Complaint Against CAITBF
- Attorney General Letter Dismissing Complaint
- CAITBF Response to Complaint Filed with A.G.
- Press Release on Dismissal of FPPC Complaint
- Letter from the FPPC Declining to Investigate
- Letter from CAIT to FPPC responding to Complaint
- Oregon DOJ Release on Indictments of Petition Gatherers for Aggravated Identity Theft
CONSIDER THE RISK BEFORE YOU SIGN A BALLOT PETITION
California laws do not currently provide adequate protections against identity theft of personal information submitted to petition gatherers.
California received an "F" grade from the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center for its failure to enact laws that adequately regulate petition gathering. (See page 17 of Report Card).
Why aren't California citizens protected?
- Does NOT prohibit petition circulators who have been CONVICTED of recent fraud or forgery from being allowed to circulate petitions.
- Does NOT require petition circulators to register with the state.
- Does NOT require petition circulating companies to register with the state.
- Allows signature gathering companies to outsource confidential voter information for verification to other countries such as India. (see California State Assembly Judiciary Committee analysis of Voter Privacy)
- Does NOT give a single person authority to take actions against abuse, deception or fraud.
- Allows for profit signature circulating companies to pay signature gatherers on the sole basis of the number of signatures they collect