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electionlineWeekly — July 13, 2017

Table of Contents

 VI. Legal Updates

Colorado: Sarilu Sosa-Sanchez, 59 has been charged with six counts of voter fraud for allegedly submitting ballots on behalf of her deceased parents in multiple elections from 2009-2013.

Illinois: A member of the Rock Island County board is under investigation by the county sheriff’s department after County Clerk Karen Kinney reported the board member for photographing voting machines in a county building.

Iowa: An Iowa woman charged with voting twice in the November 2016 general election has pleaded guilty. Terri Lynn Rote, 56 of Des Moines entered a plea on June 27. Rote submitted two absentee ballots.

Michigan: Grout Township Clerk Linda Birgel has been charged with ballot tampering. She turned herself into authorities on June 29 and was released on $10,000 bond. Birgel is charged with felony disclosing and obstructing votes and absentee ballot tampering. She is also charged with a misdemeanor of failure to perform duties.

Texas: The U.S. Department of Justice has filed paperwork with U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos that the changes to Texas’ voter ID law approved by the Legislature in 2017 “eradicates any discriminatory effect or intent” of the 2011. This is a reversal from the DOJ’s previous position.

Also in Texas, Hays County has received a litigation hold to preserve documents and equipment related to the 2016 general election, including computer audit logs, incident reports, handwritten notebooks of election staff and employee files for past and present elections staff. At least 1,816 ballots have been verified as missing in that election.

In Dallas County, prosecutors have charged Miguel Hernandez, 27, of illegal voting. Hernandez is accused of collecting at least one mail-in ballot from a voter, filling in a vote for Dallas City Council and forging the voter's signature.

U.S. Virgin Island: Superior Court Judge Kathleen Mackay has ruled that the St. Thomas-St. John district board of elections must certify the April 8 special election results.