Another Republican launches an investigation into “rampant” voter fraud only to come up pretty much empty in finding actual cases. This time it’s Iowa, where Secretary of State Matt Schultz has spent the last year and a half looking for cases and found a whopping five of them, most of whom had nothing to do with actual voter fraud.
To date, his investigation has yielded 5 guilty pleas and 5 dismissals…
One woman, Beth Ann Gallagher, cast an absentee ballot on behalf of her daughter, who had recently moved to Minnesota and thought she wouldn’t be eligible to vote there. However, after she mailed the ballot, her daughter texted her that she had been eligible to vote, at which time Gallagher self-reported the incident to the Delaware County auditor’s office. She plead guilty and paid a $147.75 fine.
A man, Terry Hambrick, registered via the Motor Voter Act while attempting to steal his dead brother’s identity. Hambrick was trying to acquire a driver’s license under the name of a brother who had died of sudden infant death syndrome in 1991, and accidentally registered to vote. He was caught not by Schultz’s probe, but after he was arrested for drunk driving and law enforcement officials determined that he was, in fact, Terry Hambrick.
Another man who pleaded guilty, Jason Rawlin, was also a victim of the Motor Voter Act. Rawlin, a felon, was attempting to acquire a nonoperator ID card, he registered to vote without realizing that he attested to not being a felon. When he received a voter card in the mail, he self-reported to authorities. Schultz initially charged Rawlin with felony election misconduct, but he ultimately plead guilty to misdemeanor fraudulent practices.
The two other guilty pleas were also from convicted felons, neither of whom knew that their voting rights had not been restored. Five other cases are currently pending.
So none of the whopping 5 cases actually involved an attempt at voter impersonation or fraud. In 2012, Iowans cast 1.6 million votes in the November election.