How to Commit Voter Fraud in Ohio

Disclaimer: Nothing in this article should be considered an encouragement to commit voter fraud. The intention of this satirical how-to guide is to expose the flaws in Ohio’s election laws and to call for reform of a system that makes it incredibly easy to vote fraudulently in this important swing state. Voter fraud is a felony in Ohio.

As a precinct election official, I have seen exceptionally professional behavior by my fellow poll workers and county board of election officials. However, they are at the mercy of loose state election laws. Though Ohio has a Republican governor and legislature, they backed down on their efforts to pass a voter ID law and refused to reform the state’s no-fault absentee voting rules, making the commission of voter fraud a relatively simple matter.

"Providing voters with free, fair, open, and honest elections ensures voter trust in the process of choosing our political leadership and the direction of our community's future. Voters who have confidence in the elections process are more likely to continue to vote." (Ohio Precinct Election Official Manual)

As a tribute to my state’s open invitation to voter fraud, I present:

The Idiot's Guide to Committing Voter Fraud in Ohio

While all of these methods are illegal, some are more complicated than others. I’ve arranged them into three levels, depending on their complexity and outside resource requirements.

Novice Level:

  • Vote for a friend or family member you know won’t show up at the polls on election day.

If you decide that one vote just isn’t enough to show your love for your favorite candidate on Election Day, why not “help” a sick (or lazy) friend or family member you know won’t be voting? This could be your roommate, your brother who hates politics and never bothers to vote, or your grandfather, who is bedridden with Alzheimer's disease. Fortunately, Ohio makes it easy and you won’t even need anything as complicated as a fake ID.

Here are some acceptable forms of ID permitted in Ohio:

* A cable or cell phone bill (electronically transmitted or paper copy)

* A bank statement

* A government check (even an out-of-state government check will do) or a paycheck

* Other government document. This can be a school report card, college transcript from a state university (in or out of Ohio), or divorce papers.

As long as you can come up with a document that matches the current name and address on file at the board of elections, you can vote for someone else in Ohio.