New York law, however, actually encourages people who voted with an absentee ballot to cast a ballot in person if they are able. “The Election Law recognizes that plans change,” the Board of Elections says in an explainer on its website. (Only one of the votes will count, elections officials say, because absentee ballots are set aside and not counted for voters who show up.)
Why have some voted twice? Here are four examples.
To hear the president talk about it, you would think that double voting happens all the time. But while acknowledging that there are more potential opportunities for fraud with mail-in ballots than in-person voting, elections officials say mail voting fraud is rare.
In Washington, a state that is predominantly a mail voting state and sends ballots to all registered voters, the Republican secretary of state found 142 cases of suspected improper voting in the 2018 election. That accounts for only 0.004 percent of the more than 3.1 million votes that were cast. The secretary of state, Kim Wyman, attributed it to the safeguards built into the state’s system.
Here are some of the ways people have voted more than once, and their motivations.
In Norwalk, Calif., a man was charged in August with casting votes by mail in three elections on behalf of his mother, who had died in 2006. He has pleaded not guilty.
In Dothan, Ala., a woman was convicted in 2016 of collecting other people’s absentee ballots and filling them in with votes for her boyfriend, who was running for city commission. She was sentenced to six months in jail.
In Rochester, N.Y., a man admitted to voting twice in the 2004 presidential election, the second time by filing an affidavit ballot at a polling place. He said he did it to get two “I voted” stickers that entitled him to free beer and food at a local bar. He was sentenced to 36 hours of community service.
In Des Moines, a woman told the police she turned in two absentee ballots before the November 2016 election because she believed Mr. Trump’s claims that the election was rigged and that her first ballot would be changed to a vote for Hillary Clinton. She was sentenced to two years’ probation and ordered to pay a $750 fine.