One choice can have a long-term impact on a person's life, particularly if that decision is considered to be a crime. Some people naturally may think that a crime such as voter fraud is petty, but in the eyes of the law, it can pose a significant threat to the political system. Thus, it comes with hefty consequences. This is the situation of one woman after facing criminal charges for this type of fraud in Iowa.
In 2013, a 40-year-old woman apparently registered to vote and voted in a city election. This recently led to her being charged with perjury. Since perjury is considered a class "D" felony, she faces up to five years in prison.
The woman was released on her own recognizance and is tentatively scheduled to appear for a jury trial in the spring. The specific nature of the felony charges remains unclear. Several other arrests have been made for voter fraud in Iowa as well.
The person who has been accused of voter fraud remains innocent unless her guilt is proved. Criminal charges related to voter fraud have to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt or the accused person cannot be convicted. Fraud charges are taken seriously in the criminal court system, with potential long-term impacts, including time in jail and a criminal record that can affect one's ability to get a job. Those who face such accusations indeed have the right to defend themselves under the law and to seek their best interests in an Iowa courtroom.
Source: Heartland Connection, "Southeast Iowa woman accused of voter fraud," Jan. 22, 2014