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The District researched eight and said three were possible voter fraud cases, while the rest appeared to be someone accidentally signing next to the wrong name — an explanation that highlights the fact that the former residents were still on the rolls and could freely vote.

Indeed, the list of Prince George’s voters with unusual names that match those on voter rolls in the District was far longer, at 13,000.

Notification of relocation

Gary Scott of the Fairfax County Office of Elections said the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 “requires states who are receiving voters from another state to notify the state that they’ve lost them, which is what we do.”

Daneen Banks of the Prince George’s County Board of Elections said in an email that most of the voters identified by The Times never told the county where they were moving from when they registered. In the opposite scenario, she said, the county relies mostly on notification from voters who have moved or from the jurisdiction receiving them. In the event election mail is returned, she said, the county “begins a confirmation mailing process to try to determine whether the voter moved.”

Erich O. Koehler voted in Prince George’s, but someone cast a ballot using his name and his old address on South Capitol Street Southeast, according to voter rolls. He was concerned that someone was using his name fraudulently and said he was told he had done everything he needed to do to ensure that he was no longer registered in the District.

“That’s really disturbing because I moved out to P.G. a year ago, changed over all my [information] a year ago. When I moved to P.G. and changed over my license at the DMV, I asked and they said I didn’t need to do anything. They said I just couldn’t vote in two places,” he said.

Ms. Harris said the technology to keep track of people as they move between jurisdictions clearly exists.

“The minute you change your address at the post office, every bill you’ve ever had certainly finds its way to you,” Ms. Harris said. “There are definitely always thousands of people on the rolls who have moved out but have never been removed because they never notified anyone.”

Easy targets

The biggest risk of having nonresidents listed on the rolls is not the risk of people voting twice themselves, but of others appropriating their names by the hundreds, she said.

They are easy targets for those who would cast votes in other people’s names in bulk, often by absentee ballot, after scanning the list for names of people who hadn’t voted in years and would therefore not show up to hear that their vote already had been cast.

Some admitted to having voted in both places, but by accident. Randi B. Bazemore is a D.C. resident who attends the University of Maryland. “She thought she could vote there. They gave her the wrong ballot,” her mother said, but her mother believes that the law says that she should have voted at her permanent address. “It was invalid, so when she told me what happened I told her to come with me to vote and that’s what she did.”

Prince George’s said her provisional ballot was indeed thrown out because she had not registered — but that she was automatically added to voter rolls after the election.

Efforts in the District to require an ID to vote have not been successful. Last year, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics condemned a hidden-camera stunt showing a man inquiring about voting as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. at a city polling precinct during the primary elections.

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