JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Greene County Sheriff’s Dept. announced today that it is investigating a woman for voting twice in an election in April.
Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller and his staff discovered that an as-of-yet unnamed woman voted twice in the election: once within the city of Springfield and once outside of its jurisdiction. She first voted outside the city, and then in Springfield, where it was noted she had a change of address that slipped past one an election worker.
The woman has told the sheriff’s department that she voted twice in the election.
Schoeller noted that this kind of fraud was easier to catch than some other forms of deliberate voter fraud.
“The hardest form of voter fraud to catch is voter impersonation,” he said. “If someone wants to organize voter fraud, all they have to do is get a list and they know which elections you vote in and which ones you don’t vote in.”
Schoeller noted that the April election contained a controversial ballot measure that would repeal a law granting gay, lesbian and transgender peoples in the city certain legal protections. Schoeller believes a higher than normal turnout, and the contentiousness of the issue may have attracted someone to the city to vote in an election they should not have.
Voters to cast their ballot at the wrong location often, he says, but he also made it clear that this woman deliberately chose to vote twice.
“That was clearly a case where unfortunately someone was not being wise,” Schoeller said.
As a result, the woman could face up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Schoeller says that finding this case shows that his office is working to insure that all votes are counted accurately.
“Regardless of the reason or the intention, we need to do all we can to let every voter know we want to protect their vote,” Schoeller said.
Details of this story are still emerging and this story may be updated at a later time.
Edit: An earlier version of this story implied a connection between the type of fraud committed in this case and photo voter ID policy. However, photo voter ID laws would not have prevented this type of voter fraud. The author takes full responsibility for this mistake.