Understanding Voter Registration Fraud in California (EC 18100(a))
The upcoming presidential election has the country divided between two candidates. Some people may want their preferred candidate to win so badly that they decide to commit voter fraud in order to secure extra votes.
Voter fraud is a serious crime in California, and you could face severe consequences if you are accused of this crime.
Types of Voter Registration Fraud
Before you can cast your vote in an election, you must register to vote. There are many potential crimes you could commit by registering to vote improperly. These crimes are outlined in the following laws:
- EC 18100(a) – It is illegal to register to vote when you are ineligible to vote
- EC 18100(b) – Registering as a nonexistent person, which includes deceased persons, animals, or inanimate objects, is considered voter registration fraud
- EC 18101 – It is illegal to register as a fictitious person
- EC 18103 – It is illegal to interfere with or withhold another person’s registration card without the voter’s consent
There are also laws to prevent officials who handle voter registration and votes from attempting to withhold votes or submit additional votes. These include:
- EC 18102 – It is illegal for an official to register a nonexistent or ineligible person
- EC 18104 – Any official who neglects or refuses to turn in registration affidavits are guilty of fraud
Violating any of these laws could lead to severe consequences. Each of these crimes are wobbler offenses, meaning they can be prosecuted as misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanors are punishable by up to 364 days in county jail. Felony convictions could result in up to three years in prison and a $1,000 fine.
Laws Against Influencing Voters
Another form of voter fraud is when you attempt to influence another person’s vote or influence that person to tamper with the election process.
For example, under California Election Code Sections 18108, 18108.1, and 18108.5, if you receive money or something valuable in order to assist another person to vote, you are guilty of a crime. If someone offers you something of value in exchange for your help voting or registering to vote, that person must clearly state that you helped them.
If you filled out a ballot or voter registration form for someone else without notifying that person, you could be found guilty of a crime.
These crimes are misdemeanors in California. If you are convicted, you face up to six months in jail and fines of up to $1,000.
Contact a Fraud Attorney at Wallin & Klarich
If you or someone you love is facing fraud charges, you should speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys have been successfully defending clients charged with fraud crimes for more than 40 years. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina and Torrance, you can find a dedicated Wallin & Klarich attorney available near you no matter your location.
Call us at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.