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U of M students may face election-vouching fraud probe

Officials will investigate reports of possible election fraud involving University of Minnesota students, the Minnesota Daily reports.

The story says two people allegedly tried to vouch for people they did not know, which is against state law. In Minnesota’s same-day registration system, a registered voter can vouch for others — whom they know — who have not preregistered and do not have proper identification or paperwork verifying their residency in the precinct.

An election judge at the University Lutheran Church precinct reported to Hennepin County voting officials that students associated with Students Organizing for America, which is described as a group aligned with the Democratic Party, were congregating outside the polling spot and apparently “assigning” registered students to vouch for others.

The judge said one of those “vouchers” said she did not know the people she was planning to vouch for.

In another case, a voter in the registration line was told about registration requirements and then asked a man behind her, who was an Organizing for America regional field director, to vouch for her. But the judge said it was obvious they did not know each other.

More than 500 of the 800 people who voted at that site were same-day registrations, officials said.

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Dick Novack on 11/08/2010 - 02:47 pm.

    My daughter in Tenessee was coaxed into coming with her Tennessee resident friends to vote. She could not vote because she was a Minnesota resident going to college there.

    I just can’t understand the objection to showing ID. I get asked for ID half-the-time I swipe a credit card, presumably to make sure the right person is using the card. Why not for voting?

    Certainly people move, which is why an ID even with an old address plus something else under other provisions in Minnesota law such as a utility bill work. I even like vouching if the vouching person has an ID for residency in the precinct.

    What we have some places is vouched-for persons vouching for others in a chain reaction, which makes no sense in a college area because college students, even from the same city are considered temporary residents who should vote in their home precinct.

  2. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 11/08/2010 - 03:11 pm.

    I didn’t need another reason to advise my kids against associating with liberals, but there it is.

    Add to this the Crow Wing County case (, and you’ve got a rather convincing pattern emerging.

  3. Submitted by Christa Moseng on 11/09/2010 - 09:59 am.

    “college students, even from the same city are considered temporary residents who should vote in their home precinct.”

    Whether or not that statement reflects a justifiable normative policy position, it’s simply a false statement of the law. You “should” vote where you reside, and the question of college students’ residence depends a great deal on each student’s subjective intentions. There is no blanket rule about where students must vote.

  4. Submitted by m. claire on 11/09/2010 - 10:01 am.

    Say bunny? Whatever that means.

    Thomas I think that your examples are two isolated incidences, not an emerging pattern. 1) Corw County: Two mentally ill voters assisted by their carers. Assistance is allowed by law, to a certain extent. The person who filed the claim thinks the assistance was over the line – the final ruling will be facts and circumstances. Still, just two voters. 2) 300-500 new voters by the U of M voting site are being looked at – did their vouchers truly know them? Maybe, maybe not. Was this serious attempt to manipulate law? Probably not. More likely kids wanting to vote and not fully aware of the requirements.

    Knowing the GOP sent out 8000 “trained” poll observers to report any and all abuses, and seeing little more than these two incidents come to light is the real “convincing pattern.”

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