As we were saying, stealing elections the easy way: Insider absentee fraud.

It seems like just early this week that we were saying:

for all intents and purposes voter fraud is very rare, while voting fraud does regularly occur. Common sense tells us that very few voters would risk intentionally voting illegally for the purpose of casting a single fraudulent vote, given the effort, huge risk, miniscule value. Common sense also tells us that there is likely several times the instances of voter fraud and voting fraud than are successfully uncovered and successfully prosecuted. Yet, voter fraud would still be rare and generally ineffective. Not so with voting fraud, especially that committed by insiders.

And only a couple of days ago that we were saying:

Vote absentee, only if you have to! The risk of fraud is primarily a risk of campaigners, insiders, or others working to fraudulently vote for others or to trash votes somewhere between the voter, in the mail, or in town hall.

And now to add even more evidence to past experience, a timely story from the Los Angeles Times to emphasize the existence of voting fraud, via absentee voting, executed by insiders, otherwise known as election officials.: Feds: Cudahy officials threw away ballots, manipulated two elections <read>

Cudahy officials at the city’s highest levels tampered with and manipulated the results of at least two city elections, according to federal documents released Thursday.

The documents were part of the plea agreements of two Cudahy city officials who agreed to plead guilty Thursday to bribery and extortion.

But the documents also shed light on a culture of corruption within City Hall, with examples of widespread bribery and developer payoffs to voter fraud…

The documents show that a city official identified only as G.P. asked Perales and others to make non-residents register to vote in elections. They used an address that belonged to a Cudahy city employee. In exchange, that employee was rewarded with promotions and other favorable treatment, the documents say…

The documents show that a city official identified only as G.P. asked Perales and others to make non-residents register to vote in elections. They used an address that belonged to a Cudahy city employee. In exchange, that employee was rewarded with promotions and other favorable treatment, the documents say.

The fraud went beyond the fake registrants (Do you know where your absentee ballots are kept and how they are handled in city hall?):

In addition, the city officials tossed out ballots that did not favor incumbents.

Perales said that when absentee ballots were delivered to City Hall, he and G.P. determined through “trial and error” the best way to open the sealed envelopes without defacing them. “Routinely and systematically,” they opened the ballots. If they contained votes in favor of incumbents, they were resealed and counted. Ballots for non-incumbents were discarded.

And apparently it changed the result:

It was the first contested council race in nearly a decade, and they lost by a few dozen votes.

We point out that requiring a voter ID at polling places would do nothing to prevent absentee ballot fraud by officials. Perhaps long jail terms for those that are caught and convicted would. Perhaps that will happen here.

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