2016 Election

First Iowa voter fraud arrest in 16 years is a registered Republican

This Thursday, a Des Moines, Iowa woman was arrested on suspicion of voter fraud and booked into the Polk County Jail.

The Des Moines Register reports that 55-year-old Terri Lynn Tote was charged with first-degree election misconduct. She is a registered Republican and she reportedly cast an early voting ballot at a Polk County Election Office and another ballot at a “county satellite voting location” in Des Moines.

Rote was one of three voter fraud suspects reported to police this Wednesday.

From the Register:

It’s the first time in 12 years that Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald can remember ever having to report potential voter fraud, he said Thursday morning.

The other two suspects are accused of casting mail-in ballots and also voting in person, according to police reports. As of Friday morning, neither of those suspects had been arrested.

According to the Huffington Post, Rote told Iowa public radio, “I wasn’t planning on doing it twice. It was a spur of the moment… The polls are rigged.”

She said she feared her first vote for Donald Trump would be changed to a vote for Hillary Clinton.


Terri Lynn Rote (Des Moines Register)

“I think it shows that our voting system works in Iowa, that we’re able to catch it,” Fitzgerald said.

Polk County Attorney John Sarcone says that voter fraud in Iowa is very rare, which is proof that the state’s election system is secure.

“I think in the 25-plus years that I’ve been doing this job, this maybe the third [time] we’ve had some irregularity that’s resulted in a criminal charge,” Sarcone said. “People aren’t voting more than once. And if they do, or attempt to do it, they will get caught because there are safeguards in place….We want everybody to exercise their right to vote, but only once.”

According to court records, Rote was released this Friday afternoon on $5,000 bond. Her next court appearance is scheduled for November 7.

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