St. Louis man indicted for voting twice -- once in Missouri, once in Illinois -- in '08
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 19, 2010 - The U.S. Attorney's office has indicted a St. Louis man for illegally voting twice -- in Missouri and Illinois -- in the 2008 election.
The man is identified of Tarrell Campbell, 34, who federal authorities note "voted under his own name in both states."
Campbell was indicted by a federal grand jury on one felony count of voter fraud and is slated to appear in court sometime this week, authorities said.
If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
According to authorities, "this case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation...The matter was referred to the U.S. attorney's office by the St. Louis city Board of Elections."
Scott Leiendecker, the board's Republican elections director, said in a statement this morning: "Open, fair and honest elections are central to our democracy; we will continue to vigorously investigate any and all allegations of election fraud to protect the voters in St. Louis City. The board believes that one dishonest vote cancels the vote of an honest voter."
Later, in an interview, Leiendecker said that Campbell's dual votes were detected when the city ran a check of its 2008 voters with those in neighboring jurisdictions, including Illinois. Campbell was among seven suspected double-voters referred to the FBI. Leiendecker said several had turned to be simple clerical errors, but others may still be under investigation.
The city Election Board is about to turn over to federal authorities roughly 30 voters suspected of casting ballots from vacant lots, Leiendecker said. He and other board employees checked out each lot, Leiendecker added.
Could Campbell's dual votes been stopped by state requirements requiring a photo ID? Leiendecker said he believed such a requirement, if mandated in both Illinois and Missouri, "could be a deterrent'' since Campbell would have needed to acquire photo IDs in both states.
But that's assuming Campbell voted in person at the polls, and not by absentee votes. In that case, Leiendecker acknowledged, photo ID requirements would not have made any difference -- since photo IDs are not required for absentee ballots.