Cowlitz County may prosecute 4 for voter fraud

If the 4 accused of fraud are charged, it would be a first in the county

Voter drops an absentee ballot into a collection box, Renton, Washington. October 11, 2016, (AP)

COWLITZ COUNTY, Wash. (KOIN) — Allegations of voter fraud continue nearly one year after the presidential election and in Cowlitz County, prosecution has been recommended for 4 people facing fraud charges.

Of the 3 million votes cast in Washington State, 72 were were flagged as possible voter fraud. The 4 in Cowlitz County were investigated and passed on to prosecutors.

The county’s elections manager, Carolyn Fundingsland, said the county is taking this seriously and she hopes charges are filed.

“We did get admissions of guilt. Two people voted their deceased spouse’s ballot,” Fundingsland said. “And the other 2 scenarios were double voting cases. So we are encouraging the prosecuting attorney to prosecute.”

If the cases are prosecuted, it would be a first in Cowlitz County. Fundingsland said it was made possible by a small study done by the Electronic Registration Information Center, which was used in 5 states to help with election integrity.

“It was actually in response to the 2016 allegations of voter fraud they are simply not true but we didn’t have the stats to prove it,” Fundingsland said.

In Oregon, out of 2 million voters, there were 54 cases of suspected voter fraud. Six ballots were under the names of deceased voters and 2 registered voters cast 2 ballots.

Secretary of State Dennis Richardson posted a video on YouTube about the issue saying, “We’ve turned this information over to the attorney general, there will be a criminal investigation but these are very low numbers compared to the ballots that have been turned it.”

If the accused are charged with voter fraud in Cowlitz County, they could face felony charges including a maximum prison sentence of 5 years and a maximum fine of $10,000 or both.