Some Augusta voters use vacant lots as registration address

Invalid addresses hard to track

Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012 5:56 PM
Last updated Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 10:39 AM
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Don’t look for Deborah Pierce at 112 Telfair St. You won’t find her.

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A sample analysis of registered voters in Richmond County found more than two dozen whose home of record was an empty lot or an uninhabitable structure.  STEVE CRAWFORD/STAFF
STEVE CRAWFORD/STAFF
A sample analysis of registered voters in Richmond County found more than two dozen whose home of record was an empty lot or an uninhabitable structure.

You won’t speak with Regina Walker at 1005 Ben­nett Lane either, and never mind calling on Alfred Lofton at 1411 Clay St.

They don’t live there. No one does.

All three are registered voters who managed to make it to the polls this year, but like dozens of Richmond County voters, they all have addresses of record that turn out to be vacant lots or boarded-up houses.

A sample analysis of registered voters in Richmond County found more than two dozen individuals whose home of record was an empty lot or an uninhabitable structure.

Board of Elections Di­rector Lynn Bailey said she has no way of knowing whether a voter’s address is a vacant lot.

“That is a tricky thing to flag,” said Bailey, whose staff regularly updates voter registration lists with changes of address. “The lot may be flagged right now, but in six months it may not be vacant lot anymore.”

The Augusta Chronicle’s research found voters registered at empty lots and abandoned houses across the county by comparing voter registration information to county property records and Licensing and Inspection dates on abandoned properties.

Using similar techniques, the Chronicle has previously uncovered numerous voters registered at business addresses, including several who live in other counties and even outside the state.

About half of those registered at vacant lots and boarded-up homes were found to be in Commission District 1, which is currently in the midst of a runoff election between incumbent Matt Aitken and challenger Bill Fennoy.

That could be because the district has more vacant lots and empty houses than any other, something that Fennoy has made an issue of during his campaign.

“That, to me, is really disheartening,” said Aitken, on learning about the Chronicle’s research. “I think this is a very serious issue.”

Aitken noted that voters are required to present a valid ID and verify their information when they go to the polls. He said voters need to understand that they have a responsibility to keep their registration information up to date and to follow the law when they exercise their right to vote.

“Think about the price some have paid to get those rights,” he said. “We can’t take that lightly.”

Fennoy said if voters are registered at invalid addresses, it is something the Board of Elections should investigate.

“You have no way of knowing how many there are or who they are voting for,” he said. “I think if it is a big enough issue the Board of Elections needs to become more proactive about it.”

Whenever a person casts a vote, they have to sign an affidavit swearing to their identity and to their current address. Intentionally providing false information can be considered false swearing, which can be prosecuted as a felony in Georgia, Bailey said.

Bailey said someone would have to challenge the vote and the board would investigate to determine whether the voter should be removed from the rolls. Violations of voting laws would be forwarded to the District Attorney’s office, she said.

It is possible that a handful of voters could sway the outcome of a local race. In 2005, District 5 Commissioner Bobby Hankerson lost his bid for re-election by only 11 votes.

With more than 14,000 registered voters in District 1, a few votes probably won’t matter all that much. Bailey expects at least 3,200 votes to be cast in Tuesday’s runoff.

The last time Fennoy and Aitken faced off in 2009, the margin of victory was 230 votes.

“I don’t think this race is going to be won or lost by two dozen voters,” Fennoy said.

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Little Lamb
46935
Points
Little Lamb 12/01/12 - 07:14 pm
14
1
Fraud

You can figure that those voters who voted at fraudulent addresses likely voted two or more times.

dichotomy
34417
Points
dichotomy 12/01/12 - 10:36 pm
15
2
Don't worry. The Democrats

Don't worry. The Democrats assure us there is no voter fraud or fraudulent voter registrations, and that we should all be quiet because they won the election. Wonder how that happened?

oldredneckman96
5115
Points
oldredneckman96 12/02/12 - 12:34 am
11
1
Voter Fraud
Unpublished

We can’t prove voter fraud because we have never pursued it. Voter Id by finger print would work but the Democrats don’t want to show the number of criminals trying to vote. We should have enough pride in our vote to dye a thumb as some nations have done one thumb, one vote.

KSL
134471
Points
KSL 12/02/12 - 12:36 am
9
1
First

Use of business addresses. Now vacant lots.

Why not much in the media about reports of unusual conditions in important precincts in swing states? I mean important to Obama.

KSL
134471
Points
KSL 12/02/12 - 01:24 am
11
1
Our voting system needs some

Our voting system needs some major revamps and controls against shenanigans.

Jane18
12332
Points
Jane18 12/02/12 - 03:21 am
11
1
Soooooooo Crooked!

We did know this was happening, just not where. By hook or crook he meant to get re-elected, and he did.

Oh Phooey
81
Points
Oh Phooey 12/02/12 - 06:06 am
6
2
Could they....

...possibly be homeless? Also, why not investigate the major fraud that goes on with early / absentee voting?

400 voters got the wrong ballot in North Augusta, hundreds upon hundreds of voters in Richland County, SC waited up to 7 hours to vote because of the lack of machines and an entire precinct in Aiken County never got the right ballot style but stop the presses for 24 voters who didn't use the correct address.

grinder48
2015
Points
grinder48 12/02/12 - 07:37 am
0
0
A Done Deal
Unpublished

If this little investigation in Augusta uncovered the number it did, you can bet the number of fraudulent votes was much higher. Add some reasonable number to the results, then extrapolate the results to all votes across the country in last election ... WOW! It almost certainly means we have elected officials holding office who don’t truly represent the majority of voters. Given this information, no need to hold a run off for the District 1 race.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 12/02/12 - 07:52 am
6
0
Better use of County Computers.

We all know A-RC has things called Computers.

A-RC has a Computerized the following departments:
* Zoning,
* GIS- Property records - Tax records - Property Info.
* Business License Dept.
* Water & Sewer Bills
and many more.

Each Dept. Computer has a thing called a Customer Database.

So why aren't these computers talking to each other?

Given the large number of vacant properties and lots in the A-RC area and the clear Failure by the Board of Elections to properly review and purge voter rolls as required by law. The AC has inadvertently raised another SERIOUS question about the legitimacy of Mr. Roundtree's run off win by only 477 votes.

Hints:
Fred Russell and Our Downtown Commissioners.
If they can vote they can be taxed.

A-RC DA and/or GA State AG
If they should not be voting,
we have Voter Fraud .. a Felony under OCGA & USC.
Do something. We have names and PHOTO's are stored on computers for the ID's

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 12/02/12 - 08:01 am
8
1
By The Way

If any one fails to understand why Voter ID is so badly needed or whines about its use.

My standard response will be:

"So how many times did it keep you from voting the last time?"

seenitB4
90841
Points
seenitB4 12/02/12 - 08:04 am
6
2
Duh??

Why is this a surprise....

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 12/02/12 - 09:29 am
8
0
not suprised about this at

not suprised about this at all. I ended up having two voter registration cards (from people i've never met) sent to my house this year. I had never run across any junk mail addressed to these particular people before. Sent the cards to Lynn Bailey's office but never heard anything back about them.

itsanotherday1
45421
Points
itsanotherday1 12/02/12 - 09:46 am
8
1
Positive voter ID should be

Positive voter ID should be used top to bottom, from registration, issuance of absentee ballots, to casting votes on election days. I don't begrudge an urban outdoorsman's RIGHT to vote, however, I do wish we had a means of proving people had a minimum understanding of who/what they are voting for. I doubt some of these Democrat recruits would know Fennoy or Obama if they walked up and slapped them.

crkgrdn
2287
Points
crkgrdn 12/02/12 - 10:09 am
8
0
Why is this happening?

Given all of the money spent on technology for this government, why is this happening?

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 12/02/12 - 10:11 am
5
2
likewise itsanotherday1, i'd

likewise itsanotherday1, i'd doubt some of the republicans in georgia would know their candidates voting record if it bit them in the hooey. no wait. lee anderson lost. nevermind.

bentman
458
Points
bentman 12/02/12 - 10:43 am
6
1
Just look at the makeup of

Just look at the makeup of the crowd who runs the county. Is it any owner?

HenryWalker3rd
2393
Points
HenryWalker3rd 12/02/12 - 11:02 am
9
0
Do you have to show proof of
Unpublished

Do you have to show proof of address before you can register? Most people register while young....maybe the homes were torn down since then...just a thought.

The government can keep track of EVERYTHING that is posted on the internet, but can't figure out a way to have a legit election process in the most successful country in the history of the world? Something smells fishy here.

nanowerx
1334
Points
nanowerx 12/02/12 - 11:27 am
4
4
Omnomnom,

I have been a registered Republican since I could vote and I voted AGAINST Lee Anderson because of his horrible record. I actually look at the candidates and how they vote. I wish more Republicans did instead of blindly pulling levers because they saw a tractor on a yard sign with "Republican" across the top.

allhans
24009
Points
allhans 12/02/12 - 12:08 pm
4
1
We have voter ID in Ga and

We have voter ID in Ga and this still happens? The ID has an invalid address? How does that happen.
And could it be that the poll workers are failing to check, or maybe giving the voter pass because of personal reasons.

KSL
134471
Points
KSL 12/02/12 - 01:12 pm
5
2
Henry, you are supposed to

Henry, you are supposed to change your voter registration when you move, just like your driver's license.

bigj706
1241
Points
bigj706 12/02/12 - 01:22 pm
3
5
All this fraud and Romney

All this fraud and Romney still won state I guess not that much cheating went on

KSL
134471
Points
KSL 12/02/12 - 02:44 pm
6
1
Well

Not in GA. Obama knew it wouldn't do any good. Nope, that time and effort was spent on the swing states, where there are plenty of questions that need answering.

Little Lamb
46935
Points
Little Lamb 12/02/12 - 03:15 pm
4
1
Registration

HenryWalker asked:

Do you have to show proof of address before you can register?

The answer is no. Voter registration drives are held by labor unions, churches, political rally workers, and other advocacy groups. They want to register like-minded people and they do not verify anything. You can register without I.D. and when you do, you put the burden on the poll worker on election day to verify I.D. But the poll worker does not have to verify address. If you show up at the right precinct of the bogus address, you can vote there if you've got a valid I.D.

So, depending on how much time you're willing to put in, you can register in several counties under fake addresses (one fake address per county, please). Then, whether by absentee ballot or in-person voting (early or election day) you can vote several times.

It's illegal, but it's done.

gargoyle
18573
Points
gargoyle 12/02/12 - 03:17 pm
5
0
The two main parties have a

The two main parties have a strangle hold over the election process to the point they get to use the laws by district to steamline results excuding all others.The two parties use the election boards Primaries to avoid vetting canidates and to gain name recognition, all other canidates or parties do not get this state sanctioned endorsement.Why do we have primarys that seem to be set up to promote canidates submited by select intrests?

HenryWalker3rd
2393
Points
HenryWalker3rd 12/02/12 - 04:24 pm
4
0
There lies the problem. The
Unpublished

There lies the problem. The voter registration process is BS.

THINK. THINK. THINK.

But this is the most advanced country in the world....

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 12/02/12 - 04:34 pm
0
0
Those names
Unpublished

and addresses certainly sound like Tea Party members to me. Those fine "upstanding democrats" are right to call out us cheating, riotus, bigoted White, conservative folk for voter fraud. The Easter Bunny is real, also.

allhans
24009
Points
allhans 12/02/12 - 09:31 pm
2
1
The voter ID requirement is

The voter ID requirement is that the address on the photo ID match the address given on the registration and entered into the computer.

KSL
134471
Points
KSL 12/02/12 - 09:42 pm
1
2
Fraud, fraud, fraud! I hope

Fraud, fraud, fraud! I hope before the next election, safeguards are put in place. After all, that should be benefitting all. If one side thinks not so, perhaps they should be investigated closely

Little Lamb
46935
Points
Little Lamb 12/03/12 - 10:04 am
2
0
Not Quite

Sorry, Allhans, but you are wrong on that one. The pollworker is not instructed to match addresses. There are many reasons why the address on the drivers license might not match the address on the voter registration.

The requirement of photo I.D. is to verify that the person standing before you is the same person in the picture of the approved I.D. The address is irrelevant. They merely have to be at the precinct for which they are registered in order to vote on election day.

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