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video: Fung Announces Finding Possible Voter Fraud in Cranston, Calls for Reforms

Friday, March 03, 2017

 

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung announced Thursday the findings of an investigation that uncovered 8 instances of voter irregularities in Cranston -- but noted that none occurred in Speaker Nicholas Mattiello's House District 15 race.

In his remarks, Fung called on Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea for a number of reforms, including addressing the emergency ballot "early voting" process, which he said is being "exploited" - and is calling for the use of photo ID when voters apply for such a ballot. 

MORE BELOW VIDEO

Fung on the Record: 

Mayor Fung said the following on Thursday

"Over the course of the past few weeks, as a result of our normal post-election reconciliation of the ballot applications and the due diligence of our canvassing employees, several instances of voting irregularities have been identified from the 2016 elections in Cranston.  Let me be clear right from the start that absolutely none of these cases occurred in the District 15 state representative race," said Fung. "The irregularities range from:

• two cases of suspected non-citizens being registered and actually voting in our city;

• two incidents of residents who allegedly voted by emergency ballot at city hall prior to election day and also in person at their normal location on November 8th;

• two residents who allegedly voted with a regular ballot at their polling location and then voted at city hall that same day for the President/Vice-President only;

• one person allegedly voting in both the April Presidential Primary and November General Election in Cranston and in Providence as well;

* one Cranston resident whose identity was allegedly used to be registered and a vote cast in a prior election in Providence without their knowledge or consent.

These are all ongoing investigations by the Cranston Police Department that will be referred to the Attorney General’s office for review for potential charges.

Areas of Concern
 

Fung (pictured previously) addressed issues of voting irregularities in Cranston at a press conference on Thursday.

"Given that these are ongoing investigations, we must be very careful what we say here today," said Fung. "However, for now, let me breakdown some of the major areas of concern that I see: 

• In light of loosening of the state election laws, the emergency ballot systems are now being exploited.  

* We have identified two cases of suspected non US Citizens being registered to vote and casting votes.  

* A separate case might actually not be a crime on their behalf at all, but one of stolen identity which will need to be addressed by the Board of Canvassers in Providence for further investigation.  

• And better training of the poll workers must be organized by the state Board of Elections and/or RI Secretary of State’s Office.

Next Steps

"While these irregularities are being investigated and handled by the Cranston Police Department with the assistance of the Attorney General’s office, we need to not only hold people accountable, but fix these loopholes and prevent this from happening again," said Fung. "In light of what we have found, I am calling for the following: 

• The emergency ballot process as a whole should be addressed as it is being taken advantage of by some in what is loosely being called “early voting.”  We absolutely must require Photo ID when citizens come to City Hall and fill out and vote with an in-person emergency ballot.  The original intent of the emergency ballot was to allow those who had medical emergencies, or those who were sent out of state for work unexpectedly, or the similar like, a backup system to cast their vote.  Emergencies happen, but the way the system is set up currently, there is no standard of proof for such, and some people were taking heavy advantage of that fact. 

* We must incorporate real-time technology, such as the e-poll book piloted this year at some polls statewide, for all ballots cast.  This would allow for instantaneous detection of double voting attempts, versus an after the fact reconciliation.

• For those first time individuals coming in on election day to vote for President/Vice President only, there needs to be a system to check to see if these residents are already registered or not.

• The Secretary of State’s office needs to develop a system to prevent non-citizens from registering to vote, catching this act of perjury out front.  Secretary Gorbea absolutely must tighten up this process as the current system of using a Driver’s License or ID number appears to be inadequate.

• Finally, the Board of Elections must step up its training efforts for poll workers.  While these thoughtful residents of our community step up for each election, and we cannot thank them enough for their time and efforts, it appears as though there were areas that weren’t emphasized enough in the trainings, like the use of provisional ballots. 

 

Related Slideshow: Winners and Losers - 2016 Election

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Winner

Joe Trillo and John DePetro

While most Republicans in Rhode Island were hiding in the bushes, Trillo (the former GOP lawmaker) and DePetro (the WPRO talk show host) were loyal advocates for Donald Trump from the beginning and through the rough spots.

Both could be big winners and could score slots with the administration -- want to go to the White House? You now know the rings you need to kiss.

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Winner

Donald Trump, President of the United States

The most unlikely candidate pulled off the biggest victory in Presidential history. The billionaire developer was underestimated which set forth much of his success during the primaries and in the election. The next four years will never be dull.   

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Winner

General Michael Flynn

The Rhode Island native and URI grad will have a major roll in the Trump Administration and America's foreign policy. As top GOP consultant Ian Prior wrote in GoLocal in July about Flynn when he was on the VP shortlist:

Of course, there are any number of national security experts that can prosecute the case against Hillary Clinton, but Flynn is unique. He is a registered Democrat that was appointed by President Obama in 2012 to serve as Director of the DIA. Even more importantly, he resigned two years later over what he believed to be a misguided approach by the administration as it concerned ISIS.

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Loser

Nellie Gorbea, Secretary of State

This year's election was one of the the most mismanaged in modern Rhode Island history. First, the Chief-of Staff of the Secretary of State's office gets into a battle with talk show host John DePetro on social media. The action seemed inappropriate at best for the head of the office administering the election.

Then, the state's Presidential election hit a number of rough spots with faulty equipment and a failed repair and triage system that lead to long lines and frustration in a number of communities across the state.

The job of Secretary of State has three major components:

1) Take care of the State's achieves

2) Maintain a database of businesses

3) Run the state's elections

She needs to assure voters that she understands the problems and correct the mistakes.

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Loser

Brandon Bell, GOP Chair

Both Democratic Congressional candidates won big. The GOP had a net loss in the legislature.

Bell went all in on taking out Speaker Nick Mattiello -- a pro-business legislator, instead of recruiting a large number of competitive candidates. If Mattiello delivers of paper ballots like his campaign claims - Bell will have wildly miscalculated at every level and will have left the GOP a weaker party.

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Losers

Cicilline and Langevin

A Trump win greatly increases the likelihood that Rhode Island will lose a Congressional seat in the next federal redistricting. Rhode Island will be more like Vermont and Delaware -- two Senators and just one House member. This will mean a big loss for Rhode Island's clout in D.C.

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Winner

Allan Fung, Republican Mayor of Cranston

Fung had just the kind of night he wanted to have. He ran up big numbers against Democrat Mike Sepe and put parkinggate in his proverbial rear window.

The margin of victory is impressive -- Fung ran up 68% of the vote and has established himself as one of the top Republicans in Rhode Island.

Now, the personable Fung is the GOP frontrunner to challenge Raimondo as it does not look like she is going to Washington, D.C. now.

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Loser

RI's Broken Technology Infrastructure 

No money, no car, and no vote.

Lets see if we got this right. You have to wait in line to vote in some locations for as much as two hours because not enough scanners were deployed. Some days you can't register your car because the Hewlett-Packard system is not deployed and the state is now suing the company. And, tens of thousands of folks most in need have not been able to get their most critical benefits (or the from benefits) because the UHIP technology was flawed despite hundreds of millions being spent. 

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Winner

Speaker of the House, Nick Mattiello

If Mattiello does hold on to his House seat, he will be a stronger Speaker than ever before. He has added more Democrats to his majority and was the architect to many of the Democrats victories. 

The simmering stress between Mattiello and Raimondo will turn into a vibrant boil over during the next two years. Raimondo was no help to Mattiello or House members -- they had to clean up for her truck tolls and absorb her unwillingness to release 38 Studios documents.

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Loser

Gina Raimondo, Governor

Raimondo's options and national political network just took a major blow. No longer can Raimondo jump to the Clinton Administration to avoid a difficult reelection. Moreover, national Democratic connections are now in Siberia as the Presidency, the House and the Senate are all in Republican hands.

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Loser

Peter F. Neronha United States Attorney District of Rhode Island 

In a short period, it is highly likely the Neronha and a few other high profile political appointees will be replaced by the Trump White House. 

The impact of Ray Gallison and others is an unknown.

 
 

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