Trump voter who cast ballot illegally won’t be charged

Trump voter who cast ballot illegally won’t be charged
© Greg Nash

A North Carolina woman who cast an illegal ballot for President Donald Trump won’t be charged with a crime, a local prosecuting attorney said Wednesday.

The woman, whose name was withheld, filled out an absentee ballot requested by her 89-year-old mother, who died days before Election Day. Her mother told her to to vote for Trump if anything should happen to her.

“It was the last thing I could do for her, and I felt excited to do that for her,” the woman said in a statement released by Catawba County District Attorney David Learner, who is also a Republican.

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But voting on behalf of someone else is a felony offense under North Carolina law.

In a statement, Learner said the woman who cast the vote on her mother’s behalf had been an upstanding citizen who was never guilty of more than a speeding violation. Learner said the woman had not intended to commit fraud, and that she acted in a fog of grief caused by her mother’s death.

“It is not in the public’s interest to charge her with this felony offense,” Learner said.

The case was one of a handful referred to local prosecutors by the North Carolina Board of Elections, which said last week it had found 508 improperly cast votes in the 2016 election, out of about 4.8 million cast. The vast majority of those votes were cast by people barred from voting because they were serving active felony convictions. Two were cast by relatives of recently deceased voters, including the Catawba County woman.

The number of illegal votes cast, even if they had all voted for one candidate, were nowhere close to enough to sway any given election. President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE won North Carolina by more than 170,000 votes, and Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrHoekstra emerges as favorite for top intelligence post Trump casts uncertainty over top intelligence role Trump withdraws Ratcliffe as Intelligence pick MORE (R) won re-election by almost 270,000 votes. In the state’s closest race, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) ousted incumbent Republican Pat McCrory by 5,000 votes — 10 times more than the number of illegal votes identified by the state board.

Both Trump and McCrory alleged voter fraud and irregularities in November’s elections. Trump offered no proof, and subsequent investigations by state elections officials, both Republicans and Democrats, have disproven his statements. McCrory’s challenges to several voters were turned away by courts.