A woman from Maricopa County, Arizona, has been indicted for casting a ballot in her dead mother’s name in the 2020 election.
It’s almost as if all that hemming and hawing about fraudulent ballots wasn’t, actually, founded in wild, baseless conspiracy theories, isn’t it?
Scottsdale resident Tracey Kay McKee was indicted by a state grand jury for one count of illegal voting and one count of perjury for allegedly filling out an early voting ballot belonging to her mother, which prosecutors say she then signed with a forged signature and mailed in.
She has pled not guilty on both counts, according to the Arizona Mirror.
McKee’s mother, Mary Deloyht Arendt, passed away on Oct. 5, 2020, two days before early voting began in the state of Arizona. The indictment accuses McKee, a registered Republican, of submitting the fraudulent ballot to election officials at some point between Oct. 7 and election day, Nov. 3.
The Mirror noted that she is facing a maximum sentence of two years for illegal voting, which is a class five felony, and up to two and a half years for perjury — a class four felony.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s election integrity unit investigated the case after it was given a list of 33 suspected dead voters by conservative activist Merissa Hamilton. The majority of these names turned out to belong to individuals who either didn’t have ballots cast in their name or were alive at the time they cast their ballot.
“While no crime was alleged to have occurred with the bulk of the names referred, AGO agents thoroughly investigated the claims and determined almost every individual named in the provided complaint was either alive, that the deceased individual had not voted (even though they were sent a ballot in the mail), or the voter died after mailing their ballot,” a spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s Office told the Mirror in an email.
Hamilton, a vocal proponent of the ongoing Maricopa County audit who questions the results of the 2020 general election, praised the attorney general’s office for its efforts.
“We commend General Brnovich and the Election Integrity Unit on their due diligence in pursuing the investigation from our deceased voter research project to bring justice to our good voters of Arizona in the November election,” she told the Mirror.
Hamilton, who hopes this indictment will provoke more support for election integrity policy in the state of Arizona, also submitted 400 names to the AG’s office which she believed to be dead voters who received ballots in the mail.
All this begs the question: If this is what was produced by one conservative activist who discovered less than three dozen names which could have been associated with ballots cast in the names of dead voters, what is the ongoing audit going to produce?
According to state Senate President Karen Fann, who authorized the audit earlier this year after a lengthy court battle between state GOP lawmakers and Maricopa County officials, we will at the very least see a discrepancy.
Maricopa County was the only county in Arizona to flip from red to blue in 2020. Members of Arizona’s GOP Party, as well as former President Donald Trump and his associates and supporters, have made vocal claims that fraud and irregularities in the county could have been significant enough to impact the results of the election in the critical swing state.
The official results of the audit have yet to be released, but on Tuesday, Fann made the explosive revelation that the total number of ballots that have been recounted by the audit team does not match the total number tallied by Maricopa County officials.
“They haven’t released a number yet, if you will, however we do know that those numbers do not match with Maricopa County at this point,” she told KTAR-FM’s “The Mike Broomhead Show.”
Fann added that she has not yet been told the specific figure of this discrepancy.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you think about the claims from the Trump camp, or those who defend the supposedly impeccable security of the 2020 election in every single county and state in the union, and it doesn’t even matter if there wasn’t actually fraud enough to impact the outcome of the election.
It matters that we trust our election process and treat any suspicions of fraud, malfeasance or even the simple (albeit sometimes substantial) errors during the 2020 election or any other election as a very, very big deal.
And in the case of Tracey Kay McKee — who may have voted for Trump in her late mother’s name for all we know, after all — it would not be foolish to take the indictment against her as a sound indication that she wasn’t the only one against whom prosecutors could find evidence of illegal voting.
Election integrity should not be a political issue, and scrutinizing the results of the 2020 election should certainly not be treated as such.
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