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Local voter nabbed for fraud 

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An El Paso County Republican was convicted of trying to cast two ballots in the June Republican primary election, the Clerk and Recorder's Office announced last week. Toni Newbill pleaded guilty and was sentenced to probation and community service and ordered to pay an $800 fine and other costs. Newbill voted for herself and her father, who died in 2012, the office said in a release.

A Clerk's Office spokesperson Ryan Parsell told the Indy that 231 ballots were referred to the Fourth Judicial District Attorney's Office for investigation after the primary — though the DA's office put it at 233. Of those, Newbill was convicted on her guilty plea and another case is pending investigation. All the others were cleared, meaning that about one one-thousandth of 1 percent of the 86,039 votes cast were deemed fraudulent.

Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman, a Republican, said in a release that his office referred 2,031 voters to the DA after the 2016 presidential election for such reasons as signature discrepancy and possibly voting twice — investigations are pending. Broerman's release cites the prevalence of voter fraud as falling somewhere between rare and common. (Parsell notes via email there were 12 cases of voter fraud in the county from 2012 through 2016.)

But — despite President Donald Trump's insistence that voter fraud is why he badly lost the popular vote — the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University of Law reports that it's more likely an American "will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls."


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