The Heritage Foundation’s Election Fraud Database, the only such database in existence, now contains over 1,500 proven cases of election fraud. The sampling of cases vary from lone wolves stealing one vote to conspiracies that stole many votes, defrauding citizens and candidates of honest elections and sometimes changing the outcome of an election. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s news and commentary outlet.)
As the website states:
The Heritage Foundation’s Election Fraud Database presents a sampling of recent proven instances of election fraud from across the country. Each and every one of the cases in this database represents an instance in which a public official, usually a prosecutor, thought it serious enough to act upon it. And each and every one ended in a finding that the individual had engaged in wrongdoing in connection with an election hoping to affect its outcome—or that the results of an election were sufficiently in question and had to be overturned. This database is not an exhaustive or comprehensive list. This database is intended to demonstrate the vulnerabilities in the election system and the many ways in which fraud is committed.
We launched the database in 2017 with 1,071 entries. We added 98 cases to the database in 2023 alone and are following several hundred other cases that are being investigated by local authorities. No case is added until and unless there is a conviction or a judicial or official finding that an individual or group of individuals engaged in wrongdoing in connection with an election.
Here are some of the most recent cases that pushed the database above the 1,500 mark:
Let’s start with a local Democratic primary election in Bridgeport, Connecticut, between Joseph Ganim (the incumbent mayor and the party-endorsed candidate) and John Gomes (the challenger), which was decided by 251 votes.
Following the September 2023 election, videos surfaced showing Ganim supporters Wanda Geter-Pataky (a Democratic town committee member and the leader of Voting District 136) and Eneida Martinez (a candidate for City Council) illegally dropping off stacks of votes into various drop boxes.
In overturning the election and ordering a new one, Superior Court Judge William Clark concluded that “the number of ballots at issue, brings the reliability of the primary into serious doubt.” He added, “The videos are shocking to the court and should be shocking to all the parties. To disregard the significant mishandling of ballots by partisans that were caught on video flouting the provisions of Connecticut law … endorse(s) this blatant practice of ballot harvesting.”
A new primary election was held on Jan. 23, which Ganim won, and a new general election will be held Feb. 27.
This is not the only example of ballot trafficking that was recently added to the database.
In Arizona, Gloria Lopez Torres (a San Luis city councilwoman) and Nadia Lizarraga-Mayorquin were charged with illegally trafficking absentee ballots during the August 2020 primary election. Arizona law only permits family members and close relatives to return ballots.
They both pleaded guilty to one count of ballot abuse, were sentenced to 24 months of probation, and were fined $2,500 each. The violation of the law was so serious that Torres was barred from running for or being appointed to public office again.
Torres is also, unfortunately, not the only public official engaging in election fraud in our latest batch of cases.
David Cole, a Republican member of the Alabama House of Representatives, was charged with falsely claiming he resided in Alabama’s 10th State House District during the 2022 primary and general elections despite living in District 4. To disguise his ineligibility, Cole entered into a $5-per-month lease at a home in District 10, which he never occupied, although he registered it as his voting address and had mail sent there. He also falsely claimed he had sold his District 4 house.
While Cole’s crime came to light during his campaign, he was not charged until after the election, which he won by 973 votes. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 60 days in jail and three years of probation; agreed to resign from his legislative seat; and was ordered to pay $52,885.79 in restitution, the salary he was paid as a state legislator. A judge ordered a new election to fill his seat.
Christopher Coyle, the former Democratic candidate for Clark County, Indiana, clerk, and a former chairman of the Clark County Democratic Party, was charged with falsely claiming his residency in Clark County and voting there during the 2022 election.
He filed a false report with the Clark County Clerk’s Office claiming he lived in Memphis, Indiana, despite having sold his home and having not updated his driver’s license or voter registration to reflect the fact that he was living in Louisville, Kentucky. He then voted in person in Sellersburg, Indiana, on Election Day. He admitted the conduct and entered into a pretrial diversion agreement. The charges were dropped once he successfully completed the program.
We also added our first cases from the District of Columbia, which has not shown much interest in investigating allegations of election fraud. Five individuals—Renee Diggs, Jessica Miser, Eddie Bishop, Margaretta Sibert-Dean, and D.C. Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Vanessa Rubio—were all fined by the D.C. Board of Elections for voting twice in the 2020 general election.
Diggs, Miser, Sibert-Dean, and Rubio all voted in person both in Washington and Maryland, while Bishop voted in person in Washington and by absentee ballot in Maryland. Laughably, Rubio, an elected public official, claimed she thought her duplicate voting wouldn’t count because the district is not a state.
We also added 16 cases from North Carolina of aliens charged with falsely claiming to be citizens when registering to vote.
George Ian Richardson, Soraya Paktiawal, Lurbyn Chirinos-Castro, Miriam Perez Robledo, Faustin Ngaruyinka, Jeffrey Hamilton, Miguel Angel Dominguez Martinez, Gessyca Eyene Jeaspautine Misse, Gloria Lopez, Odalinda Mondragon-Arroyo, Byron Benavides-Campos, Ikechukwu Augustine Okeke, Denis Javier Miranda, Fathy Ahmed Nasser, Jose Abraham Navarro, and Gabriela Guzman-Miguel all made false claims of citizenship.
Despite the fact that such a violation of the law is a federal felony and grounds for an alien to be denied citizenship, each was given the opportunity to enter a pretrial diversion program for 12 months after admitting their conduct, and the charges were dropped upon successful completion of their respective programs.
As the 2024 election draws near, let’s hope states prioritize implementing election reforms—like requiring an ID to vote and effectively maintaining accurate voter registration rolls—that are needed to ensure fair and honest elections, and then vigorously enforcing them, so Americans can feel confident casting their votes in the polls.