The Obama/Biden lawn sign remains proudly planted in front of Melowese Richardson’s Cincinnati home, three months after the presidential election. It seems that President Obama has an especially ardent supporter in the veteran Ohio poll worker. Richardson told a local television station this month that she voted twice for Obama last November. She cast an absentee ballot and then voted at the polls as well. “Yes, I voted twice,” Richardson told WCPO-TV. “I, after registering thousands of people, certainly wanted my vote to count, so I voted. I voted at the polls.”
Authorities also are investigating if she voted in the names of four other people, too, for a total of six votes in the 2012 presidential election. “I’ll fight it for Mr. Obama and for Mr. Obama’s right to sit as president of the United States,” Richardson vowed when asked about the voter fraud investigation that is now under way. Richardson is one of 19 people suspected of illegal voting by the Hamilton County Board of Elections in the last election.
Richardson’s granddaughter, India Richardson, confirmed to Fox News that her grandmother voted for her, by submitting an absentee ballot in her name. India told Fox News that she is not angry, and gave her permission to cast her absentee ballot. “It wasn’t a big deal,” she said.
But election authorities say voting more than once, or in someone else’s name, is a big deal because it is illegal and threatens the credibility of the nation’s election system. As part of a new effort to root out any voter fraud, Secretary of State Husted has ordered all 88 of the state’s county Board of Elections to hold public hearings on any credible voter fraud allegations or claims of voter disenfranchisement during the 2012 election. He said any substantiated allegations should be turned over to prosecutors.
“Once the election is over, and once the winner is declared, everybody forgets about it. I want to make sure that we don’t forget about it, that we make sure we do, essentially, an audit of that process to ensure that we know what happened, and then use that evidence to guide us going forward. … We need to learn from that last election so that we can be better before the next one gets here.”
“Fraud does happen,” noted Husted. “Most attempts are caught by the system. But there are cases that do slip through, as this one does, and we need to make sure that we really send a strong message, that if you do this, you are going to be held accountable. It might mean fines, it might mean jail time.” Voter fraud, said Husted, “undermines public confidence in democracy, and that’s why we need, whether you are a Democrat or Republican, to root out all cases of voter fraud.”