The Free Press, Mankato, MN

St. Peter news

April 2, 2013

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

Only requirement is that she obey voting laws

(Continued)

ST PETER —

“That’s what I told Travis when he told us about this,” Moore said then. “Who is in the wrong? The election judges for not checking or my mom?”

Voter laws also require election judges to challenge voters in Schneider’s situation. The same laws require judges to be properly trained.

There are no plans to pursue criminal charges against any of the election judges involved, Fischer said Tuesday.

Sherry said he was confident Schneider would have been found innocent if the case would have gone to trial. But that could have required several court appearances, which is something his client didn’t want.

Schneider has Parkinson’s disease, suffers from dementia and uses a walker. Just getting to the courthouse and to its third-floor courtrooms would have been stressful, she said in March after the charge was filed.

“Instead of going that direction, it’s better to put the case behind her,” Sherry said. “She’s glad that it has been worked out and that she didn’t have to come here.”

Assistant Nicollet County Attorney James Dunn, the prosecutor who filed the charge, appeared in court Tuesday. He told the judge he agreed with the diversion plan, which takes the case out of the court system. Dunn declined to comment after the hearing and referred all questions about the case to Fischer.

Fischer said in March that there is a state statute that required her to have the case investigated, then file a charge against Schneider if there was probable cause.

Beth Fraser, director of government affairs for Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, said Fischer’s description of statute 201.275 was accurate. That statute says any county attorney that has been “notified by affidavit” of a voter fraud violation is required to prosecute if any evidence of the violation is found.

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