23 Voter Fraud Cases from 2016 and Beyond

Early Voting 2016 - 1
Photo: Bob Price/Breitbart Texas

President Donald Trump kept the threat of voter fraud on the front pages both before and after the 2016 Election. Although ballots have long since been counted, cases of illegal voting and other election law violations continue to surface in the aftermath.

1. Fraudulent Mail Ballots in Big D

Perhaps one of the most curious with respect to political impacts, this live case involves hundreds of apparently fraudulent absentee ballot requests in 2016 and in recent weeks for a municipal election targeting elderly voters living in west Dallas, Texas. One Dallas pastor, James Armstrong, expressed concerns that elderly residents are being targeted in a possible mail-in voter scheme after some of his church members said they received ballots, only they never applied for them, Breitbart Texas originally reported in April. In the weeks following, scores of voters and their families came forward alleging that someone fraudulently requested ballots in their names. The case grew to the point that Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings (D) and State Representative Eric Johnson (D-HD 100) called for a formal investigation from Dallas County officials.

“According to reports, dozens of voters received mail-in ballots they never requested,” their letter stated, which “suggests the possibility of a coordinated effort to benefit a candidate or candidates in the upcoming Dallas City Council elections.”

On Thursday, new details emerged, indicating that a “Jose Rodriguez” appeared to have requested “dozens” of ballots on behalf of unsuspecting elderly voters, according to The Dallas Morning News. It is unclear if a Mr. Rodriguez actually exists at this point.

“I don’t know a Jose Rodriguez,” Mary Milam, 67, of west Dallas told the paper. “I’m angry. How are you just going to forge my name? That’s wrong.”

The investigation continues.

2.The Noncitizen Voter Fraud Sob Story

One of the highest profile cases of voter fraud in the aftermath of 2016 belongs to a Mexican national living in the north Texas communities of Dallas and later Grand Prairie. Rosa Maria Ortega was convicted in a Texas court for illegally registering and voting in 2012 and 2014 in February 2017. In the months since, her family and legal team embarked on a public relations tour de force to convince the general public that Texas’ class 2 felony penalties for ineligible voting are “too mean” and can target those whose only crime is “being confused.” Breitbart Texas catalogued various news outlets’ willingness to lend Ortega too friendly an ear. The woman faces a jail term and deportation to Mexico.

3. ‘Political Terrorism’ Against the Electoral College

Though not actually voter fraud, this case indicates a large-scale violation of federal voting rights law all the same. Days after the votes were counted in mid-November, a pressure campaign commenced against members of the Electoral College to intimidate them into not casting their ballots for then President-Elect Donald Trump. A Michigan college student told CNN about the death threats he received to keep him from later voting Trump. One election law expert later told Fox News that the acts were tantamount to “political terrorism”, and called out the Obama Department of Justice for not opening an investigation into alleged violations of the Voting Rights Act.

4. Texas Voter ID ‘Fix’ Fraud

Years before the 2016 Election, the Obama DOJ and voter ID opponents with George Soros cash to burn sued the State of Texas to strip away its voter ID law. Shortly before the polls opened in November, the State entered into an agreement that allowed voters without proper IDs to swear on an affidavit that they were who they said they were and did not have ID. Breitbart Texas reported in February 2017 that many voters lied on the form. An Associated Press review of some of Texas’ largest counties found that of the 13,500 affidavits signed, at least 500 admitted to refusing to present proper ID, “despite indicating they possessed one.” The Texas Legislature fast-tracked a reform for the process to prevent future abuse and provide criminal penalties.

5. North Carolina Audit Shows Dems Outvote the GOP Fraudulently

In late April, an official audit of the 2016 Election by the North Carolina State Board of Elections found that registered Democrats outstripped their Republican counterparts by more than 60 percent where illegal votes were found, according to the Daily Caller. The report found that 441 felons voted; 41 non-citizens cast ballots; 24 voted twice; two pretended to be dead voters; and nearly 20 more cases of voter impersonation remained under investigation. The state’s voter ID law was struck down by a federal appellate court leading up to the election.

6. Nevada’s Ongoing Non-citizen Voting Investigation

The Silver State is not immune to non-U.S. citizens illegally registering to vote and then casting ballots. The Nevada Secretary of State set off alarm bells in April, blaming driver’s license offices of improperly registering non-citizens to vote. As it stands now, more than 100 people “(1) presented evidence of non-citizenship while obtaining services from the DMV; and (2) completed a voter registration application while at the DMV.” The State is positive that at least three from that pool voted in 2016.

7. Ohio Joins the 2016 Non-citizen Voter Investigation Club

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted released a 2016 edition to his office’s ongoing tally of non-citizens found registered to vote and casting ballots. Ohio found another 385 registered, with 82 casting ballots “in at least one election” since the 2015 report. The total number of non-citizens found registered since 2013 stands at 821 with 126 of those voting. The latest report warned that, “there are likely additional non-citizens in the [voter rolls not yet found] given the lack of access to more real-time data maintained by the federal government.” Translation: “Dear DOJ/DHS, please open your books of non-citizens living in the U.S. so we can find more.”

8. Kansas’ Voter Fraud Scalp Collection

Kansas does things differently when it comes to voter fraud cases. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was granted prosecutorial powers in 2015, this week notching his ninth conviction for election-related crimes, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal. Kobach’s latest, Preston Glen Christensen, pleaded guilty to voting twice in Kansas and Texas in 2012, according to the local paper. Prosecuting election fraud can take time. Christensen’s vote was cast more than four years before justice was served.

9. Nebraska Crackdown on Refugee Get-Out-the-Vote Scheme

The Nebraska Democrat Party accidently outed itself trying to plant voter registration forms in gift baskets on its own Facebook page. After the live-streamed evidence went semi-viral, the Chairman of the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee for the state senate urged the Democrat Party to alert local election officials where their baskets might have landed, according to a Breitbart News report at the time. Local charities claimed that no forms ever ended in the hands of refugees, but Democrat Party Chairwoman Jane Kleeb expressed a sense of incredulity with the entire affair, stating she is “totally confused why people are up in arms about this.”

10. Virginia Is for Alien Voters

In October 2016, a private research effort performed by the Public Interest Legal Foundation found that more than 1,000 non-citizens were registered to vote since 2011 in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Of that pool from eight counties and municipalities, 200 ballots were cast, according to the report. The organization has publicly stated that it will release more illegal voters uncovered in 2017.

11. 42 Ineligible Voters Puts Florida Sheriff Race in Tailspin

Residents of Putnam County, Florida, still are not certain if a duly-elected sheriff is patrolling their streets. Breitbart News reported in April 2017 on a case of 42 ineligible voters registering in an election where winner and loser were decided by 16 votes. A lawsuit contesting the results commenced, leaving both sides confident in their chances of victory. The Florida Times-Union reported in late April that a decision was due soon after two hearings.

12. Hack the Vote: North Carolina

Shortly before the Obama Administration hyped the threat of Russians accessing and manipulating voter rolls in 2016, a lowly Granville County Board of Elections temp was allegedly busy altering at least 250 records belonging to felons whose voting rights were frozen until their sentences were complete. Had Joy Yvette Wilkerson allegedly succeeded, the felons would have received election mail to include potential absentee ballots, the Washington Free Beacon reported. Wilkerson faces felony charges.

13. The Moore County Two (NC)

Two men from Moore County, North Carolina, were convicted of voter fraud in April 2017. Dalton Shane Smith, of Cameron and Edward Green, of Southern Pines, were accused and convicted of voting despite being felons, according to The Fayetteville Observer. A report from WNCN-CBS Raleigh noted that in April 2016, Smith was charged with “one count of felony breaking and entering, one count of felony larceny of a firearm, one count of felony possession of a stolen firearm and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.”

14. Ohio Fracktivist Jailed for Voter Registration Fraud

A Columbiana County, Ohio, woman was sent to jail in March 2017 after pleading guilty to multiple counts of voter registration fraud while working for a leftist community organizing group, Breitbart News reported. Rebecca Hammonds, 34, accepted a guilty plea on 14 counts of voter registration fraud after originally facing a total of 35. Between September and October 2015, Hammonds worked as a paid canvasser for the Ohio Organizing Collaborative. Local officials to include the sheriff’s department saw how applications included inaccuracies on the forms. Among her submitted documents, five confirmed deceased residents were offered up for new registrations.

15. Voting Twice Isn’t Nice in Illinois

31-year-old Michelle Mayes of Macon County, Illinois was arrested on April 26, 2017 for voting twice in the 2016 General Election, according to FOX 55. Local law enforcement claim that Mayes early voted in Effingham County in October and then again after her relocation to Macon. If convicted, she faces class 3 felony sentencing.

16. Voting Illegally Can Get You Deported

One of the earliest cases completed in 2017, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in February that registering and voting in federal elections can be grounds for deportation. Margarita Del Pilar Fitzpatrick registered at an Illinois DMV office in 2007 and participated in elections thereafter, according to The Washington Times. Fitzpatrick later revealed her own illegal activities when questioned about the same during the naturalization process.

17. ‘Too Much Talk Radio’ Blamed for Double Voting

Consider the “too much talk radio” excuse forever spoken for. Troy A. Schiller, 43, of Dexter, Wisconsin, admitted to felony double voting in January 2017 in relation to his ballots cast in different cities the prior spring. Wisconsin’s 2016 presidential primary also served as municipal elections, noted the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune. Schiller apologized to the court and was sentenced to 30 days behind bars with a $500 fine. Prosecutors intentionally threw the book at Schiller—despite no prior criminal record—because Wood County has a recent history of local races being determined by a single vote.

18. Colorado Pair Forges Mail Ballots

Unsatisfied with only voting for themselves, two Mesa County, Colorado, women allegedly cast ballots for relatives without their prior knowledge or input. Cynthia Katherine Castaneda, 51, and Shelby Rene Cohee, 57, separately submitted ballots for a son and former mother-in-law, respectively in the 2016 General Election. Castaneda’s alleged effort was discovered when her son appeared in person to vote the same day. Cohee, however, thought she was being helpful to her former relative, police said in a Daily Sentinel report.

19. Dead People Can Vote in Colorado, Too

The Denver Post reported in March 2017 that Toni Newbill of El Paso County, Colorado, admitted to obtaining a dead man’s mail ballot and voted in the 2016 primary. Blame cannot rest solely on Newbill, however, since Ralph Nanninga died in 2012 and lingered on the voter rolls. Newbill has probation, community service, and fines in her future.

20. For This Nigerian National, Voter Fraud Is the Least of His Problems

Breitbart Texas reported on the curious case of Kevin Kunlay Williams aka “Kunlay Sodipo”, a Nigerian citizen indicted on March 29 in Missouri for alleged “mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, voter fraud, illegal reentry and being a felon in possession of a firearm,” according to a DOJ announcement. The indictment also alleges that Williams falsely claimed he was a U.S. citizen when he registered to vote in federal, state and local elections in 2012. Williams is alleged to have voted in the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections.

21. Wyoming County Flagged Dozens of Possible Illegal Voters

Yes, even in Laramie County, Wyoming, significant amounts of voter fraud can reportedly occur. Election officials flagged 27 people registering and voting on the same day in 2016, according to KGWN. County Clerk Debra Lee told the public that 11 felons and 16 apparent non-citizens cast ballots. As the investigation continues, verified illegal votes could lead to felony charges.

(Dis)honorable Mentions

22. Crooked Mailman Helps Texas Dems Get-Out-the-Vote

A former U.S. Postal Service delivery man, Noe Olvera of Hidalgo County, Texas, pleaded guilty in federal court in March 2017 for accepting bribes in return for sharing names and addresses of voters receiving mail ballots with local Democrat operatives in 2014. A former, fellow political operative claimed in an affidavit that Olvera promised to help prospective voters obtain U.S. citizenship if they voted for his preferred candidate when ballots were delivered, Breitbart Texas reported.

23. The Shalom Lamm Saga

Although the alleged election fraud occurred in 2014, the federal case is still in its early stages in the Southern District of New York. Shalom Lamm and co-conspirators Kenneth Nakdimen and Volvy Smilowitz stand accused of trying to rig a municipal election to plant friendly officeholders in support of their multi-million dollar real estate developments in Bloomingburg. The alleged conspiracy registered scores of phony voters locally by giving “the would-be residents with fake back-dated leases, and accessorized empty apartments to appear occupied by the ersatz residents,” Fast Forward reported. Up to $30,000 was reportedly offered to out-of-towners to illegally register. The original prosecutor that brought charges in December 2016 was Preet Bharara, who was later fired by President Trump for unrelated reasons.

Logan Churchwell is a founding editor of the Breitbart Texas team. You can follow him on Twitter @LCChurchwell. He also serves as the communications director for the Public Interest Legal Foundation.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.