A Des Moines woman has been arrested and charged with voter fraud after she allegedly voted for Donald Trump a second time out of concern that her first vote for Trump would be counted for Hillary Clinton instead. The Des Moines Register reports that 55-year-old Terry Lynn Rote was charged with first-degree election misconduct on Thursday after authorities discovered that she had cast early-voting ballots at two different locations in Iowa.
“I don’t know what came over me,” Rote told the Washington Post sometime after being released on $5,000 bond Friday. The registered Republican also told Iowa Public Radio that she was afraid that her first Trump vote was going to be somehow counted for Clinton. “I wasn’t planning on doing it twice, it was spur of the moment,” she insisted, also repeating Trump’s oft-made claim that “the polls are rigged.”
However, Polk County auditor Jamie Fitzgerald told the Register that it was the first time in 12 years that he could remember having to report voter fraud, adding that the incident “shows that our voting system works in Iowa, that we’re able to catch it.” Another official, Polk County attorney John Sarcone, remarked to Iowa Public Radio that Rote’s transgression is “maybe the third” voting irregularity he’s seen result in a criminal charge in more than 25 years. (If convicted of the Class D Felony, Rote will face up to five years in prison.)
The Register notes that two other suspects have been accused of casting both in-person and mail-in ballots in Des Moines as well, but they have not been arrested, and it’s not clear who they were voting for or why they were voting twice.