Double voting in a federal election is a felony. But the Holder DOJ hasn’t acted, so far.
About 50 men and women packed a Rice County courtroom Tuesday afternoon as two Somali women pleaded not guilty to charges of voter fraud stemming from the general election last November.
Farhiya Abdi Dool, 38, and Amina A Hassan, 31, each face one felony charge of unlawful voting for voting once by absentee ballot and once at a polling place during the 2012 general election. Each woman faces five years in prison and a $10,000 fine for the offense.
The women, both naturalized U.S. citizens, were charged June 21.
With Minneapolis-based defense attorney Julie Nelson at their side, Dool and Hassan each entered a plea of not guilty on Tuesday afternoon. As was the case with their first court appearances, the women were backed by family members, friends, neighbors and advocates all listening closely to the proceedings. Supporters of the women say that their actions were an honest mistake that should not be punished with a felony charge. Nelson took the defense a step further during an interview after the hearing.
“I find it offensive that these women have been criminally charged,” Nelson said. “These women came to this country, they are naturalized citizens, and they wanted to vote.”
They wanted to vote so much, they voted twice!