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Lake County officials concerned about fake IDs and voter fraud

Updated: November 23, 2012 6:14AM



CROWN POINT — Concern over whether an identity theft ring busted over the summer has created an opportunity for voter fraud in the upcoming election has prompted officials to take some preventative measures.

Tuesday, Lake County county Election Board member Patrick Gabrione, a Republican, said the county needs to check into the possibility of fraud after an identity theft ring was found to have obtained fake identification cards from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Gabrione said it could be an issue in the election if a large number of fake IDs have been issued and those people head to the polls. He provided a news clip from July showing seven people were prosecuted for obtaining fake Indiana IDs.

Smith, a Democrat, said it is unlikely identity theft would result in voter fraud.

“I’m not saying it’s impossible, I’m just saying it’s improbable. There has never been any report that I know of widespread voter fraud associated with fake IDs,” Smith said.

Jeffrey Gunning, attorney for the Republicans, said it could be possible to determine whether those IDs are on the voter rolls if the U.S. Attorney’s office will provide a list of the names involved.

“It seems to be something that can be checked out,” he said.

He plans to request a list of the fake IDs from the U.S. Attorney’s office and cross check that with the county’s voter registration list.

James Weiser, the Democrats’ attorney, said it may be difficult to tell if the registration is fraudulent even if it is one of the names on the fake IDs. The stolen ID could carry the information of a real person who is a victim of the identity thieves.

“How would you know?” he asked.



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