Sunday, October 22, 2006

Election judge banned from polls for double voting

this story got much more attention then the double voting Mayor Kathy Taylor of Tulsa,OK but then again she is a democrat.

The Associated Press

Maplewood — A veteran Republican election judge will not be allowed to work at the polls Nov. 7 after acknowledging he illegally cast two absentee ballots.

St. Louis County Election Board Chairman John Diehl said the man — the second judge caught double-voting this year — was elderly and told election officials that he hadn't meant to vote twice. Diehl declined to identify the judge.

County election officials took the action Friday after the St. Louis Post-Dispatch called inquiring about a tip.

Diehl confirmed the tipster's account, that the judge cast one vote before and a second vote after an Oct. 9 election-judge training class at the county Election Board's headquarters in Maplewood.

Diehl said that the Election Board learned of the man's actions Oct. 10 and was planning to confront him.

"He has worked for us for a while," Diehl said. "We don't believe it was an intentional or devious act."

Diehl said evidence of the man's double voting will be turned over to county prosecutors, who will decide whether to take legal action.

People convicted of voting more than once face a minimum fine of up to $2,500 and a maximum penalty of five years in jail.

They also permanently lose their right to vote.

The election board previously turned over evidence involving a Democratic election judge who was fired over the summer after officials determined that judge had illegally cast two absentee ballots for the Aug. 8 primary.

Diehl said the board has not been told of any action in the earlier case.

Diehl said an unexpectedly high number of absentee voters are casting ballots for a midterm election.

"The line is out the door," Diehl said, referring to the board's office in Maplewood.

So far, almost 5,000 absentee ballots have been cast by mail or in person in St. Louis County, election officials said.

Missouri voters can cast absentee ballots for reasons that include being disabled or expecting to be away from home on Election Day.

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