In a close election year, every vote counts, so election watchdogs want to make sure every vote is legitimate. 2012 turned out to be a much less tight race than many predicted, but the vigilant vote watchers of America still had their eyes out for any oddities at the election. Here are four instances of perplexities at the polls that have some election overseers in Pennsylvania, Maine, Florida and Ohio crying voter fraud.
|Zero Votes for Romney|
It's one thing to lose badly to the other guy, but it's another to get absolutely no votes. None.
That's what happened to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 59 Philadelphia voting divisions, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
In the entire county, Romney scored less than 100,000 votes, putting him at a measly 14 percent.
Republicans in the state tried to use this as evidence of a need for the voter ID laws hotly debated in the state this election season, the Inquirer reported.
But ID or no, anyone with unfettered access to a ballot could choose to vote Republican.
More than 500 Pennsylvania voters registered complaints about election procedure to the state this election, according to Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele.
"All of these complaints have been forwarded to the appropriate county board of election for review, and if county officials feel it is warranted, [there will be an] investigation," Aichele said in a statement.
|Too Many Voters of Color|
The chairman of the Republican Party for the state of Maine suspected voter fraud in his state after he heard reports that African Americans were turning out at the polls in rural counties.
"In some parts of rural Maine, there were dozens, dozens of black people who came in and voted on Election Day. Everybody has a right to vote, but nobody in town knows anyone who's black," Webster said. "How did that happen? I don't know. We're going to find out."
Census data shows Americans who identify as black or African American made up 1.6 percent of the population in Maine in 2010. It's tied with North Dakota and Utah for fifth smallest percentage of blacks in the U.S.
Webster's complaint has earned its share of criticism. The Portland Press Herald reported Thursday that Webster expressed regret his comments.
"I have a couple friends that I play basketball with who are black and I'm sure I'm going to get a few elbows that next time we play," he told the Press Herald.
Webster recently announced he will not seek reelection as chairman of his state's party. Even if he had run again, local Maine newspaper the Bangor Daily News said back in August it was unlikely Webster would be nominated for another stint. The man who was credited with Republican wins in the 2010 midterm elections in his state has since taken fire for an unsuccessful voter fraud investigation that targeted college students and a chaotic state convention that carried over into the Republican National Convention.
|Two Ballots Means Two Times the Votes|
In St. Lucie County, Fla., about 175,500 residents were registered to vote on Election Day. But when results came in that night, officials counted more than 247,383 votes. Voter turnout was a whopping 140.92 percent.
Where did all the extra votes come from? It turned out some voters had submitted their long ballots on two separate voting cards. Each card had been counted once, meaning many of the votes were double counted.
The Examiner reported the real turnout total was closer to 70 percent, a number that conservative outlet suggested was still worthy of investigation for potential voter fraud.
Two lawsuits have been filed against St. Lucie County Elections Supervisor Gertrude Walker for the errors by her office during the election, including one by Republican congressional candidate Allen West.
Walker admitted mistakes were made this year at a press conference, reported the television station WPTV.
"It happened, it's corrected, and we have the correct results right now," Walker said.
|'Adolf Hitler' and Other Fake Voting Applicants|
The week of the election, Fox News reported that 200 fake voter application cards had been sent to Hamilton County in Ohio, including one with the name "Adolf Hitler."
Fox reported the D.C.-based company, Fieldworks, was at fault for submitting the fraudulent registration cards.
Conservative outlets made much of the fake cards -- especially their use of the dictator's name -- but voter registration applications are reviewed at the county level before ballots are sent out, a process set up to quash this kind of activity before any real fraud occurs.