THE BLOG

Voting Process At Forefront Of 2012 Election

09/28/2012 12:54 pm ET | Updated Nov 27, 2012

These days the two parties can't agree on much. From poll results to the legitimacy of registered voters, the two parties' only common ground has become the ground under their feet.

In an election where passion for both presidential candidates runs high, the battle over what each side believes should be a fair and representative election ensues.

Tea party groups around the country are working to eliminate what they believe is rampant voter fraud. Those on the Democratic side believe the tea party's actions border voter intimidation.

In Ohio alone, these groups have removed at least 2,100 names from the state's rolls. The people who are being targeted are overwhelmingly trailerpark residents, college students, the homeless and blacks. Some Democrats believe this is an attempt to suppress voters who tend to vote Democratically.

According to the LA Times, these groups have found some inconsistencies with those who are registered to vote.

In some cases, the Ohio tea party researchers have correctly identified voters who have died or moved, speeding up the official updating of registration files. They also found voters registered at a Cincinnati trailer park that no longer exists.

Just because a voter is registered illegitimately does not mean they will subsequently vote, but True the Vote, a national voter fraud prevention group, has found some evidence that back their claims of voter fraud.

True the Vote found 31 people in New York and Florida who allegedly voted in both states during the same federal election cycle. This kind of behavior is a felony in the US.

True the Vote has not released information on which party the alleged 31 voted for, but based on the article from FoxNews.com, it is unclear whether or not the group had clearance to that kind of information to begin with.

True the Vote believes these findings are "just the tip of the iceberg."

In a piece by the NBCNews.com blog Open Channel, absentee ballots present more of an opportunity for fraud. According to the story, in 2010, 16 percent of voters cast their ballots via absentee. They add that in that same year, 30 percent of voters did not personally cast their vote in local polling stations. Similarly, 40.3 percent of Californians voted via absentee.

More and more Americans are deciding to stay home during the elections, but they're still voting -- just from their own convenience.

There's a fine line to be towed between convenience and opportunity for fraud. According to that same NBCNews.com story one voter said that without vote-by-mail she would be less likely to vote because she doesn't have the time. Her kids just would't allow her to stand in line for a prolonged period of time, she said.

Phil Keisling, former Oregon secretary, of state believes the benefits of absentee voting outweigh the potential for fraud. "If you try to literally kill everything in your body that may kill you, you will definitely die," he said. "If you try wring every possibility of mischief out of a voting system, you will cramp it down so hard that very few people will end up voting."

With the many voter ID laws springing up in key battleground states more voters will have to cast provisional ballots, meaning that if this is a close election Americans could see what happened in Florida again in 2000: a higher risk for fraud, voter confusion and several days awaiting election results.

With concerns over voter fraud increasing and with the general amount of people who apply for absentee voting climbing each year, it is almost certain that the amount of provisional ballots cast this year will set new records.

Michael McDonald, an election expert at George Mason University, told AP.com that Florida could see as many as 300,000 provisional ballots this election cycle.

"You want to see chaos in Florida? There it is," he said.