Being in two places at once: Fraudulent Voting in Florida

Double-voting is a concern in the United States that stems from the fact that there is not a nation-wide database of information detailing who is registered to vote and to which state. Florida is a state that is particularly vulnerable to this issue and with the presidential election upon the U.S. the main question of concern is: What can be done to eliminate, or at the very least significantly reduce, the issue of fraudulent voting?

Although Florida is on the path to becoming part of the twenty or so states that have taken it upon themselves to start cross-checking their voter registration lists, they will not be able to do so before the next presidential election occurs. Because the race in this election is so close some officials are concerned that even a relatively small number of fraudulent votes caused by double-voting could tamper with the election’s outcome. Even if some of those votes were caught, it would likely not be until after the election had taken place and the winner determined.

Florida has yet to come up with a solution to this predicament; however, since the mishap related to ballots in the 2000 presidential debate in Florida, the state has become much more vigilant regarding the matter of fraudulent voting. What it is being proposed that the state should do while waiting to become a member of one of the groups that cross-checks state voter registration is to make the penalty for double-voting more extreme than the current penalty of a maximum of five years in prison.

It remains to be seen how the state of Florida will fare in the 2012 presidential election when it comes to the problem of double-voting, yet it is reassuring that throughout the United States there is much more attention being paid to which individuals are registered to vote and in which state. One can only hope that a way to curb double-voting in Florida will be determined before the election takes place.