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Authorities in Minnesota have found the face of voter fraud: an 86-year-old woman with dementia.
Margaret Schneider of St. Peter, Minnesota has Parkinson's disease, dementia being one of her symptoms. She filled in an absentee ballot last July 13, but forgot she had done it and showed up the next day to vote in person at her polling place. Big mistake, Granny Fraudsalot. She's been charged with a felony:
Schneider doesn’t deny the allegation. She realizes now, after talking with St. Peter police detective Travis Sandland, that she did vote twice. She voted once with an absentee ballot on July 13 and again at her polling place Aug. 14.
“It had been awhile and I didn’t even remember,” Schneider said. “I was shocked to death because I thought my absentee ballot was for the president.”
So, how did they catch this criminal mastermind? Well, the voter roster at her local polling place had her clearly marked as having voted by absentee ballot, so it's unclear why the precinct allowed her to cast another in the first place, but in any case we've got a whole network of calculators and abacuses (abacii?) and highly trained rabbits looking out for these things. So Schnieder got a letter informing her of her now-potential-felon status and an April court date. As for the prosecutors, you'll be glad to know that our no-tolerance stance to election riggers like Margaret here don't allow any leeway, because unlike other crimes, we know senior citizens who accidentally fill out two ballots really are the sort of folks we should be showing no mercy:
Michelle Zehnder Fischer, Nicollet County attorney, doesn’t comment on specific criminal cases. In general, though, she said in all cases when she is notified about a possible voter fraud incident she is required to have it investigated. If there is probable cause to show a crime occurred, she is required by state law to prosecute. […]
She also said she could be required to forfeit her office if she doesn’t follow the law.
What will happen? Will our soft-on-crime judicial system allow Mastermind Margaret, kingpin of St. Peter election fraud, to go free? Can Schneider get a fair trial in a state known for their hard-charging stand against absent-minded seniors? Is the local pokey handicapped-accessible? We will soon know.