The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

April 2, 2013

Update: Voter fraud case over for 86-year-old St. Peter woman

Only requirement is that she obey voting laws

ST PETER — A felony voter fraud charge filed against an 86-year-old St. Peter woman will be wiped from her record under an agreement brought to a judge Tuesday.

Nicollet County Attorney Michelle Zehnder Fischer and the woman’s attorney, Bill Sherry of Apple Valley, both said the deal was the best resolution for the situation.

It meant Margaret Ann Schneider didn’t have to go to the courthouse Tuesday because both sides agreed she didn’t have to appear before District Court Judge Allison Krehbiel.

The diversion agreement also means the charge will be dismissed if Schneider meets one requirement between now and Nov. 30, 2014.

“The case is basically suspended for 20 months,” Sherry said. “She simply has to comply with all local laws regarding voting. No money has to be paid, she doesn’t have to report to probation, there’s no community service. Everything will be off her record.”

Sherry called Schneider’s family and volunteered to take the case without pay after learning about the charge through the media.

Earlier this month Schneider said she realized she voted twice in the 2012 primary election after she was questioned by Travis Sandland, a St. Peter police detective. She voted once with an absentee ballot July 13 and again at her polling place Aug. 14.

Schneider said she had forgotten she had voted in July and didn’t realize both ballots were for the same election. She also pointed out that Sandland’s investigation found that the letter’s A.B., which showed an absentee ballot had already been cast, were next to Schneider’s name in the voter roster book. Schneider had to sign her name over the top of the letters.

 

Diversion plan

During an interview after the charge was filed, Eva Moore, Schneider’s daughter, said she didn’t understand why voting judges allowed her mother to vote instead of pointing out her mistake.

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