A woman who lives in both New Jersey and Florida was caught voting twice in both the primary and the general elections in 2020.
Donna Prentes Brady, 66, was arrested in Ocala, Florida, on Monday. She was charged with one count of false swearing of voter registration information and two counts of unqualified electors willfully voting, which are all third-degree felonies.
Nj County Official Says Election Crimes and Voter Fraud Are ‘very Rare’
“It is a crime at both the state and federal level to vote more than once in an election. Voters should know that this kind of crime is rare and that people who do it can be charged with a crime, said New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way in a written response on Thursday.
“The Sussex County Board of Elections is very serious about election crimes. “We helped the Florida Department of Law Enforcement with their investigation into Ms. Brady’s voting records in 2020 by giving them the paperwork they needed,” Sussex County Board of Elections Chief Clerk Administrator Ellen Griffiths told New Jersey 101.5 in a written response.
Griffiths went on to say that voter fraud and election crimes are “very rare” in the county, adding, “This is the first one I’ve seen in my 12 years with Sussex County.”
She also said that the people who work at the Sussex County Board of Elections “work hard to make sure that every election is fair.”
A report says that a woman from New Jersey was a “super voter” who never missed an election for seven years. In 2020, Brady voted in person as a registered Republican in Marion County, Florida, and by mail as a registered Democrat in Sussex County, according to the Daily Voice, which cited an affidavit of probable cause.
According to records cited by the New Jersey Globe, she changed her mind about which political party she wanted to support. She changed her voter registration between primaries and voted Democratic in 2014 and 2015, Republican in 2016, Democratic in 2017, Republican in 2018, and Democratic in 2019 and 2020.
The same report said that she then said she wasn’t affiliated with any party. It also said that Brady became a “super voter” by voting in every election between 2013 and 2020.
New Jersey and Florida are two of the 32 states and the District of Columbia that don’t let people vote twice in the same election.
Neither of these states is one of the 13 that have a law that makes it illegal to vote in more than one state in the same election.
As of fall 2022, these states were Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oregon, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.
Double Voting Hard to Prosecute, Analysts Say
Analysts say it’s hard to go after people who vote twice.
The National Conference of State Legislatures says that such cases have always been hard to prosecute.
The conviction of a woman who voted in both Colorado and Arizona in 2015 was overturned by an appeals court. The NCSL pointed out that different candidates were running at the state, county, and municipal levels in the same mid-term, general election. The NCSL also said that states need to do a better job of cross-referencing voter data.
“An increasing number of states are doing cross-checks with other states to find voters who have moved,” says the NCSL. This can help find possible duplicate registrations and, by extension, double voters.
In 2020, President Donald Trump was criticized for saying that people should try to “check their vote” by voting twice in the same election, once by mail and once in person.
“Let them send it in and let them go vote, and if their system is as good as they say it is, they won’t be able to vote,” Trump said while on the tarmac of an airport in North Carolina, as Politico has reported.