Mower official says 3 ballots were illegal

Published 10:41 am Tuesday, November 27, 2012

AUSTIN — The Mower County Auditor-Treasurer’s Office, after its review of general election ballots, discovered three people who may have illegally voted this year.

According to Auditor-Treasurer Doug Groh, all three people indicated that they are not citizens on their voter registration forms. However, the three people continued to fill out their forms and also voted. Groh’s office caught the errors last week. He said the voters all presented Minnesota IDs with current addresses, so it appeared at first as if they were legal voters.

While the three ballots were not nearly enough to swing the election, Groh again pointed out the need for tighter voter identification.

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“I believe that there is recognition by both parties that there is a need for strengthening the election laws,” he said. “They recognize there are problems with the Election Day process.”

Though a voter ID amendment did not pass this year, Groh hopes legislators will rewrite and try to push through another proposed amendment. Groh said he has never encountered fraudulent voters since he has been with the Mower County Auditor-Treasurer’s Office since 1989.

“These election laws are serious, and these are felony offenses,” Groh said.

The Mower County Attorney’s Office is now handling the case. Groh said Austin Police Department Capt. Dave McKichan has discovered two of the three voters are indeed not citizens.