3 under investigation for voter fraud

3 under investigation for voter fraud

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -An investigation is underway into three Comanche County residents who voted twice in last week's Presidential Preferential Primary.

All three submitted absentee ballots before showing up to their polling place on March 1 and voted again in person. The Comanche County Sheriff's Department is investigating the case and will interview all three of them before handing the case over to the district attorney.

This classifies as voter fraud and would be a felony if the district attorney decides to press charges. If charged and convicted, they could face up to five years in prison or fines of up to $50,000.

Election Board Secretary Amy Sims says she noticed the problem when she tried to electronically log the votes that had taken place. When she tried to put the three votes in the computer, it informed her that they had already voted absentee.

She says processes are in place to prevent this from happening.

"I've had people come in voting absentee and I tell them you're signing a sworn affidavit saying you will not go to your polling place on Tuesday and you have not voted previously by mail," Sims explained.

Sims says people trying to vote twice is, at least for now, a very uncommon problem.

"I don't see it happening very often with the absentee voting the way it is, and even they're wanting to start voting online…then it's going to be more common. But people just have to pay attention," Sims said.

Sims says she thinks the people probably just voted twice by accident, but says with some people that might not actually be the case.

"I think people think it's not as serious as it is, that we're just going to ignore it if it does happen. But no, we're not. We're going to address it and we're going through the proper channels to address it," Sims said.

Sheriff Kenny Stradley didn't want to comment too much while the investigation was ongoing, but he did say at the time he had interviewed one of the three people and was waiting to interview the other two.

The next election is April 5 for the school board runoff and propositions. If you're not sure where to go to vote or if you're eligible to vote, click here.

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