Published March 08, 2013
An 86-year-old Minnesota woman who suffers from dementia is facing a felony voting fraud charge after she says she accidentally voted twice.
Margaret Schneider tells MyFoxTwinCities.com she forgot she had already sent in her absentee ballot when she went to her polling place in November.
"It's very hard to remember everything," Schneider said.
Schneider says the matter is particularly upsetting to her because she considers herself a proud American and has voted in every election.
"I've always voted, ever since I've been old enough to," she said.
The criminal complaint against Schneider says records show she submitted her absentee ballot in July. It claims the roster book at her polling place had the letters "AB" next to her name, signifying that Schneider had already cast an absentee ballot.
This aspect of the case is frustrating for Schneider.
"Why didn't they tell me to go home? That's what I'm trying to figure out," she told MyFoxTwinCities.com.
The county attorney tells the station she had no choice but to file charges against Schneider, saying she could even lose her job if she refused to.
"If I have probable cause to believe the crime occurred, I do not have discretion to charge," Michelle Zehnder Fischer said. "I have to charge it."
Fischer says she has no interest in putting Schneider in jail, and she hopes the case is resolved quickly.
Schneider says she never would have intentionally voted twice.
"It's against the law to do that," she said.