Voter Fraud: There’s an App for That

Voter fraud is usually more of a talking point for losing politicians than a reality, with very few instances of organized fraud having ever been proven. That said, after every major election, some voters inevitably feel they have suffered varying degrees of voter fraud, and this week’s mid-term elections were no different.

In Los Angeles, Spanish-speaking voters claim to have received robo-calls telling them to vote on Wednesday instead of Tuesday. Meanwhile, one Minnesota county is investigating claims that one staffer at a disabilities center told mentally handicapped patients who to vote for. Of course, voters might also feel they have experienced less sinister forms of voter fraud. For example, a polling attendant might ask for more pieces of identification than needed, thereby interfering with your ability to vote if you didn’t bring those materials to the polls.

Now, a smartphone app released by American Majority Action looks to make it easier for voters to report fraud, but perhaps it’s too easy.

The Voter Fraud Mobile app, which is available for free on the iPhone, Blackberry and Android phones, lets users submit reports detailing their incidents and take photos to add further evidence, which is then passed along to state election officials. In fact, the app even tags each of your voter fraud incidents on a map so you can see all the places you’ve been denied your democratic rights. But should one really approach voter fraud as casually as one might check in to The Gap on FourSquare?

It’s particularly disconcerting that in the preview of the app shown in the iTunes store, someone has issued a report titled “Voter Intimidation” with the description “spotted suspicious people outside polls” and a picture of two armed African Americans attached. Is that really what voter fraud looks like, or have the makers of this app just turned a serious matter into a game in bad taste?

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