A Scotland County man was left fuming after being told on Election Day that a vote had already been cast in his name, according to election officials.
County Board of Elections Director Dell Parker said on Tuesday that on Nov. 6 Charles Ingram was forced to cast a provisional ballot after being told by Precinct 7 workers that he had already voted. Precinct 7 voters cast their ballots at the Wagram Fire Station on Marlboro Street.
“He was highly upset,” Parker said.
The potentially fraudulent vote was cast during early voting on Oct. 22.
“The individual would have had to state their name and address and verified their information and signed a voter authorization form to cast a ballot (during Early OneStop voting),” said Parker.
The Board of Elections will now examine the signature on the early ballot to determine whether it was cast in error. After making that determination they will then decide how to proceed and whether to count Ingram’s provisional ballot.
Mistakes by poll workers are rare and typically involve voters with the same names and a “junior” or “senior” suffix attached to their name, Parker said. “That is not the case with Ingram,” she said.
Angry about the specter of voter fraud, Parker said that it strikes at the core of American democracy.
“For democracy to work we have got to have honest people and this shows that we might not have that.”
Ingram’s Election Day problem follows on the heels of a protracted and heated debate on the national level about Voter ID laws which many conservatives have claimed would prevent voter fraud. Those opposing Voter ID laws, which would require voters to have an ID to cast a ballot, have said that it is a ploy to reduce voter turnout, that it would not be effective in stopping fraud and that voter fraud is uncommon.
According to Parker, a felon currently on probation also cast a ballot on Election Day.
“It is a ‘Class I’ felony, to cast a ballot as a felon,” Parker said.
When the Board of Elections next convenes they will decide whether to turn in the name of the individual to the District Attorney’s office.
At 5:15 p.m. today the Board of Elections will meet to examine absentee ballots that arrived at their office after Nov. 6 to determine their eligibility. At 6 p.m. the board will examine provisional ballots.
On Friday at 11 a.m. he Board of Elections will meet for canvassing.