Voters in some places in around the country can vote twice. But only one ballot will count.
Comments made on Sept. 2 by President Donald Trump in North Carolina suggested that voters this fall should go ahead and try. The recommendation was part of his pervasive criticism of mail-in voting leading up to the November election.
It should be noted that election fraud is a crime and penalties can be range from 2-5 years in prison and up to 10 of thousand’s in fines.
“If the system is as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote,” Trump stated.
Derek Murphy, a spokesman for the Erie County Board of Elections, sad that “practically speaking,” it is impossible to vote more than once.
“The system is set up with cross-checks,” he said.
Niagara County Board of Election Commissioners Lora Allen and Jennifer Sandonato explained that voters there technically could cast more than one ballot. However, they said only a ballot cast in person, such as on Election Day or at one of the county’s early voting locations would be counted.
The live vote, they said, makes any absentee or mail-in ballot null and void.
“Any time you are going to vote on the voting machine, which is what you would do in early voting or on Election Day, that would supersede any absentee ballots,” Sandonato said.
Allen said the election office cross-references in-person voters who are signed into the poll book with the ballots that were mailed in. The person would not face any sort of criminal charge for the attempt, either.
“If we see your signature in that book, we’re going to not count that absentee,” she said. “We check every one of (mailed-in ballots) to make sure that someone has not voted at the polls.”
The statewide database would similarly flag and not count the additional ballot if someone attempted to vote in more than one county, Sandonato said.
“There are lots of checks and balances throughout the state,” she noted.
Your name would also be flagged if you attempt to vote at more than one early-voting location, Allen and Sandonato said.
“Those electronic poll books communicate with each other, and it would say that this person has already voted,” Sandonato said.
Jeremy Zellner, one of the Erie County Board of Election commissioners, said that people potentially trying to vote more than once would be burdensome.
"To have thousands of voters casting both absentee and in-person ballots would place an enormous and unwarranted strain on the hard-working men and women who have done an incredible job amidst the toughest conditions of any election in living memory," Zellner said.