Preventing voter registration fraud

There has been a lot of talk about allegations of voter registration fraud and rigged elections.

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – You may have heard allegations recently of voter fraud and rigged elections on the campaign trail. 22News is working for you with what’s being done in Massachusetts to keep voters honest, and the ballots accurate, this Election Day.

It’s especially important this year, because it’s expected that large volumes of voters will head to the polls. “Voter registration, since the primary election in September has been huge,” said Holyoke City Clerk Brenna Murphy McGee.

You can register to vote on the Secretary of State Office website, by printing out an application from your municipal website, or in person at your city or town hall. However, you only need to use an identification when registering to vote online. You will be prompted to enter your license number. (Click here for other reasons you’ll have to show your identification.)

Otherwise, you could, technically, tell a clerk assistant you live at an address you really don’t…even in a town or city where you don’t actually live. Murphy McGee said there are safeguards in place to prevent fraud, including an automated online state service.

“If someone was to register in the City of Holyoke and they were already registered in the City of Chicopee or Easthampton, they would be pulled from that city and only added to our system, so there cannot be duplicates of the same person with the same birthday in the state system.”

She added that the Secretary of State William Galvin’s Office will send local clerks any applications that seem inaccurate or incomplete. Murphy McGee said she doesn’t recall any instances of registration fraud, but she has received some applications that were sent to her from the state for being inaccurate. That could include the wrong last name or wrong address.

Voters also don’t need to show any license or identification to prove they are who they say they are at the voting booth in Massachusetts.

Nationwide, there are fears of a rigged election. A recent Politico/Morning Consult Poll found 41 percent of surveyed registered voters believed the presidential election could be rigged. Those surveyed said they thought voter fraud could “steal” the election from Donald Trump.

In states that use electronic voting machines, there are fears the machines could be hacked. Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin said that won’t happen in Massachusetts because we still use paper ballots and the election data is not all centralized in one place.