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Iowa woman arrested, charged with more than 50 counts of voter fraud

By Sarah May
|
January 14, 2023

The wife of a local politician in Iowa was arrested Thursday on voter fraud charges stemming from the 2020 election, a cycle in which her husband was a candidate for office, as The Hill reports.

According to the Justice Department, Kim Phuong Taylor, is now facing 50 fraud counts that include fraudulent voting, fraudulent registration, and providing false information while voting or registering.

Voter fraud alleged

Married to Republican Woodbury County Supervisor Jeremy Taylor, Kim Taylor is alleged to have placed false information on absentee ballot requests, absentee ballots themselves, and voter registration paperwork, as The Hill noted.

Taylor, 49, is also accused of causing other individuals to engage in the aforementioned conduct, signing documents on behalf of voters without their consent, and suggesting to others that it was permissible to sign documents for others who were not physically present.

According to a press release from the Department of Justice (DOJ), some of Taylor's activities were in support of her husband's ultimately unsuccessful campaign for the congressional seat in Iowa's 4th District.

Obtaining just 8% of the vote in the Republican primary that year, however, Jeremy Taylor went on to prevail in a bid to reclaim his seat on the Board of Supervisors once the general election rolled around, The Hill further reported.

The Justice Department stated that after engaging in fraudulent activities during the congressional primary, Kim Taylor followed a similar pattern during her husband's subsequent local campaign, focusing on residents of Sioux City's Vietnamese community who may have had limited ability with regard to reading and comprehending documents rendered in English, according to NPR.

The claimed misconduct was brought to light by Pat Gill, Woodbury County auditor and election commissioner, who indicated that he contacted the Secretary of State office in Iowa after a citizen got in touch with him to complain that a ballot had been cast in her name without her permission.

Hefty penalties possible

As NPR further noted, after her arrest, Taylor pleaded not guilty to the allegations, and she was released on a personal recognizance bond.

Trial in the case is slated to begin March 20, according to the outlet, though it remains to be seen whether any plea might be announced prior to that date.

As detailed in the DOJ press release, Taylor's indictment detailed 26 counts of providing false information in registering and voting, another three counts of fraudulent registration, and 23 counts of fraudulent voting.

If Taylor is convicted, each count faces a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment, according to the Justice Department.

New year, new charges

Taylor's case is not the only vote fraud matter to emerge thus far in the new year, as The Hill reported separately, with an Alabama politician now facing both felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from elections held last year.

Albert Turner Jr., chair of the Perry County Commission, was just indicted on charges of having voted multiple times in the state's spring primaries last year and of engaging in ballot harvesting activities during the November midterms.

According to The Hill, Alabama Secretary of State would not speculate as to the precise impact Turner's conduct may have had on election outcomes, though the case remains the subject of an ongoing investigation.

Responding to the indictment on his Facebook page, Turner said he was “not concerned about...the bogus charge of ballot stuffing and mailing too many absentee ballots,” and he appeared to characterize the charges as overtly political in nature.

Turner also concurred that misconduct at the ballot box did occur during the elections at issue, but insisted it was “not by him.”

Merrill noted that Alabama has notched seven voter fraud convictions over the past eight years, but it remains to be seen whether Turner's case will ultimately yield an eighth.