Do New MN Voter Fraud Charges Make Case for Election Integrity Commission?

Minnesota remains one of a dozen or so states refusing to cooperate with the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Minnesota’s top election official, Secretary of State Steve Simon, continues to offer cover to a same day voter registration system that’s particularly vulnerable to fraud under current practices.

The latest example came to light this week with newly filed charges against four individuals with criminal records who allegedly voted or registered to vote in Blue Earth County in the 2016 general election, according to the Mankato Free Press.

Alysse Miranda Fitzpatrick, 26, of Lake Crystal, Ashley Nicole Williams, 23, of Mankato, and Taylor Mitchel Spence, 27, of Mapleton, were charged Wednesday with voting while ineligible to vote in Blue Earth County District Court. Noah Summers, 45, of Mankato, was charged with registering to vote while ineligible.

Fitzpatrick, Williams and Spence all allegedly voted in the 2016 election while they were prohibited from voting because they were on probation for felony convictions. The three suspects registered to vote at their local precincts on Election Day, according to the criminal complaints.

The Mankato case points out the vulnerability of Minnesota’s system. Unlike some states, Minnesota does not have a provisional ballot to prevent a vote from being tallied until a newly registered person’s eligibility has been verified.

So the allegedly fraudulent votes of the felons charged in Mankato counted just the same as those who cast their ballots legally in November 2016

Fitzpatrick and Spence reportedly signed registration applications attesting that they were not on felony probation.

Williams reportedly was allowed to vote after she filled out the registration but did not sign it. She did sign the voter roster, which includes oaths that the signer is eligible to vote and has registered.

The director of the Blue Earth County Department of Taxpayer Services reported the alleged voter fraud to the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office in May.

The suspects all allegedly later admitted to a sheriff deputy that they voted.

Blue Earth County authorities continue to investigate other tips involving voter fraud. A few months ago, Kandiyohi County authorities filed similar charges in a Willmar case stemming from the last election. And Andrew Cilek of the Minnesota Voters Alliance reminded Star Tribune readers earlier this week of his group’s documentation of voter fraud over several election cycles.

Voter fraud exists in Minnesota and the board is well aware of the 369 voting convictions between 2008 and 2014, which we have previously documented for them, along with our heavily documented discovery of 1,670 provable instances of voting by ineligible felons in the four general elections between 2008 and 2014.

It’s encouraging to see authorities in Greater Minnesota protecting the integrity of the state’s electoral system by holding offenders accountable. It only stands to reason that some of the half of a million Minnesotans who flood local polling places because of same day registration may not be lawfully eligible to vote. But Minnesota Secretary of State Simon continues to look the other way in the face of increasing prosecutions of voter fraud in Minnesota.