Iowa Trump supporter sentenced for voter fraud

President Donald Trump points at the press area in the U.S. Cellular Center during one of several digs at the media. Wednesday, June 21, 2017. — photo by Zak Neumann

President Trump has angrily tweeted about voter fraud many times since winning last November’s election, but don’t expect him to tweet about the sentencing on Thursday of someone who actually committed voter fraud.

Terri Lynn Rote was arrested in October, for casting ballots at two early voting locations in Des Moines. Rote, a registered Republican and fervent Trump supporter, told Iowa Public Radio she voted twice, because she was worried her first vote for Trump would be counted as a vote for Hillary Clinton instead.

“The polls are rigged,” Rote said. Prior to the November election, Donald Trump repeatedly expressed that same view.

“Remember, we are competing in a rigged election,” Trump said at a Wisconsin rally, the week before Rote double-voted. “They even want to try and rig the election at the polling booths, where so many cities are corrupt and voter fraud is all too common.”

According to election officials and academic experts on voting, the claims of both Rote and Trump are incorrect.

Rote’s attorney originally claimed the Trump supporter had “significant mental deficits,” and was not competent to stand trial. The court rejected that argument, and last month Rote pled guilty to one count of felony election misconduct, as part of a deal with Polk County prosecutors. In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors dropped a perjury charge against Rote.

District court Judge Robert Hanson sentenced Rote to two years of probation. Rote must also pay $750 fine. If Rote successfully completes her probation and pays the fine, the conviction will be expunged from her record.

In a separate incident, Rote was charged in June with disorderly conducted, after being arrested in Des Moines for “yelling epithets at a neighbor,” according to the Associated Press. Rote pled guilty to the misdemeanor charge the day after her arrest.