'It Isn't Illegal To Be Registered To Vote In Two Places. It Is Illegal To Attempt To Vote In Two Different Locations'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s a time of high anxiety for people worried about voter fraud and election security.

CBS2’s Tony Aiello met a woman who realized she’s listed as an active voter in New York and New Jersey. Believe it or not, it’s legal.

Michelle Finkelshteyn’s concern about fraud in the November election compounded with she checked voter registration websites. She realized she’s listed as active at her current address in New Jersey, as well as an address in New York, where she moved from five years ago.

“If I’m registered in multiple places to vote, how many others are registered in multiple places to vote?” she said.

“The system has a lot of safeguards to make sure that people can only vote in one location, and we do a lot of work to verify voters. So, people can rest assured that voting is safe and there’s not a lot of fraud,” said Rockland Election Commissioner Kristen Zebrowski-Stavisky.

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Zebrowski-Stavisky said workers at the Board of Elections spend all year checking voters’ status and purging the rolls of those ineligible. That often happens after a voter moves and registration verification mailings are returned.

The system is not perfect.

“Other locations don’t always tell us, other states,” said Zebrowski-Stavisky.

Still, she says fraud is virtually non-existent.

“It isn’t illegal to be registered to vote in two places. It is illegal to attempt to vote in two different locations,” she said.

The typical voter, according to Zebrowski-Stavisky, understands attempting to vote twice is a crime.

Zebrowski-Stavisky wants voters to know of the extensive safeguards. Voter rolls can be checked and verified in real time.

“Our system is not on a network. Cannot be hacked. Your results cannot be changed,” she said.

For voters who don’t trust the mail, a secure drop box is ready for early ballots.

“We take a lot of steps to make sure everything is secure,” said Zebrowski-Stavisky.

The commissioner said social media and comments by Pres. Trump are fueling voter anxiety, but also the determination of local Boards of Election to preserve the integrity of each ballot.

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