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Yes, There Has Been Voter Fraud in Idaho


Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump would have Americans believe there is widespread voter fraud, saying "people that have died 10 years ago are still voting" and there is a "massive problem with illegal immigrants voting." The Brennan Center for Justice deflates Trump's claims, arguing "allegations of widespread voter fraud often prove greatly exaggerated. The allegations simply do not pan out."

However, conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation has curated a list of election fraud cases over the past several years "where individuals were either convicted of voter fraud, or where a judge overturned the results of an election." The list includes two Idaho incidents:

Following the 2004 General Election—Bush vs. Kerry—Jason Jay Goodson was convicted in Bonneville County in eastern Idaho, for "falsifying or forging public records and wrongful signing of a ballot petition," which is a felony. He was sentenced to two years probation.

Following the 2008 General Election—Obama vs. McCain—Walter Coiner, who identified himself as a Ketchum nursery owner, pleaded guilty to attempting to vote twice: once through a write-in ballot in Twin Falls and again in person at a Blaine County polling place. According to the Twin Falls Times-News, Coiner misunderstood where and when he could vote, and asked for leniency from the court. Ultimately, Coiner was sentenced to one year of probation, a $300 fine and 40 hours of community service.

Most claims of voter fraud in 2016 have come from GOP candidates, and the year's first big case involved a Trump supporter. Terri Rote, 55, of Des Moines, Iowa, was charged with election misconduct (a felony), after prosecutors said she cast two ballots at two separate early voting locations. Rote told police, "it was a spur of the moment thing," and later told Iowa Public Radio she cast her first ballot for Trump but feared it might be changed by unscrupulous poll workers to alter her ballot in favor of Hillary Clinton.

"The polls are rigged," said Rote, after being released on a $5,000 bond.