Voter fraud was one of hottest topics leading into the 2012 Election, and while the media microscope has since focused away from it, it’s far from disappeared. In fact, one case in Cincinnati can potentially land several police officers in jail.
According to Cincinnati.com, thirty law enforcement officers in Hamilton County are facing up to a year in prison after a Board of Elections staffer discovered they registered to vote using their police station’s addresses as their own. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has since ordered county Boards of Elections across the state to review voter rolls and flag any commercial addresses used by individuals to register to vote.
Ohio state law prohibits one from registering to vote with a commercial address, but in order to be convicted of a crime, one must be proven to have done so knowingly, not by mistake. Consequently, both Democrats and Republicans on the Board of Elections are approaching this case with leniency.
“We need to be focused on correcting these rather than punishing them,” said Tim Burke, chairman of the elections board and the county’s Democratic party chairman to Cincinnati.com. “Whatever we decide to do, it has to be even-handed. We can’t treat non-police officers one way and police officers another.”
According to Cincinnati.com, “The officers aren’t alone in the county. They join 285 people who are registered at places other than where they live. Of those, 25 are registered at UPS stores; eight at U.S. Post Offices; and 252 at other places, according to the board.”
Just last month, a Hamilton County poll worker was sentenced to five months in prison for voting illegally on behalf of other people, according to The Associated Press.