Here in Missouri, as well as in other states across the nation, it is a crime to misrepresent yourself in any way during the election process. Whether you’re running for office or casting a vote, voter fraud is considered a serious offense in our state. Depending on the severity of the election crime committed, a person could face serious penalties including a lengthy prison sentence and a steep fine as well.
A Springfield woman is learning this the hard way this month after being accused by police of voting twice in Missouri during the April 7, 2015 election. As is explained in Section 115.631.1 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, it’s a class one election offense to vote more than once in our state. If a person violates this law, they could face up to five years in prison and as much as a $10,000 fine.
According to officials from the Greene County Sheriff and County Clerk office, the woman was able to vote twice because she changed her address at the second polling station. Because the computer systems at the polling place in Greene County were not linked to other polling systems, her actions were not caught right away.
It’s unknown at this time if this was intentional deception or a situation in which a voter simply wanted to correct a mistake made on an initial ballot in order to avoid potential criminal charges. Whatever is the case now though, it will be up to the courts to decide. The hope though is that the woman knows she has the right to an attorney and exerts that right as soon as possible.
Source: The Springfield News-Leader, “County clerk: Voter fraud case an example of how easily it’s caught,” Trevor J. Mitchell, July 21, 2015