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Cracking Down on Voter Fraud
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA(CBS2/FOX28)- A Cedar Rapids man is accused of voting three times in the November 2012 election.
According to Linn County court documents, Clarence Ellis is accused of requesting and voting absentee for himself, his son and also his daugher or granddaughter, but the prosecuting process is lengthy.
When Margie Kufman heard about this incident she said it makes her wonder how often someone gets away with it.
"I think it is concerning," she said.
Kufman is worried her grandchildren may not be able to take part in a fair election.
"We need accountability and need people who will be honest," she said.
The Linn County Auditor's Office said they are looking into the incident to prevent further cases from happening.
"It makes you ask questions, if this was the only person who did it or are there more," Linn County Auditor Joel Miller said.
But even though two years later, a Cedar Rapids man is accused of voting three times, auditors are hoping others will learn from this.
"Our whole system is based on trust and now someone has shown us that we can't trust 100% of the people and that is unfortunate for Iowa," Miller said.
He said he found out about the incident after the man's daughter or granddaughter voted absentee in Bremer County.
Miller said they would never know about this incident if she had not voted in Bremer.
But Miller said getting an absentee ballot is a privilege and signing for someone who is out of town is unacceptable.
"Yes, it's convenient. It has some potential flaws and if people want to take advantage of those flaws then your gonna undermine the whole system," Miller said.
Margie hopes leaders and the community will continue to hold each other accountable.
"We are losing trust, I am losing trust in the system," she said.
And her hope that people will do the right thing.
Miller said if anyone has any questions about absentee ballots that they can call the auditor's office or better yet, vote at any polling location throughout the county.
Meanwhile, many auditor's offices are sending out voting registration cards to clear up voter's addresses. The cards can not be forwarded.
Ellis was a summons to appear in court. If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison.