Iowa official’s wife convicted of 52 counts of voter fraud in ballot-stuffing scheme
Nov 21, 2023, 4:58 PM
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — The wife of a northwestern Iowa county supervisor was convicted Tuesday of a scheme to stuff the ballot box in her husband’s unsuccessful race for a Republican nomination to run for Congress in 2020.
The Sioux City Journal reports that jurors deliberated six hours before finding Kim Taylor guilty of 26 counts of providing false information in registering and voting, three counts of fraudulent registration and 23 counts of fraudulent voting.
Prosecutors said Taylor, a Vietnam native, approached numerous voters of Vietnamese heritage with limited English comprehension and filled out and signed election forms and ballots on behalf of them and their English-speaking children.
They said the scheme was designed to help her husband, Jeremy Taylor, a former Iowa House member, who finished a distant third in the race for the Republican nomination to run for Iowa’s 4th District congressional seat. Despite that loss, he ultimately won election to the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors that fall.
No one testified to seeing Kim Taylor personally sign any of the documents, but her presence in each voter’s home when the forms were filled out was the common thread through the case.
Jeremy Taylor, who met his wife while teaching in Vietnam, has not been charged, but has been named as an unindicted co-conspirator. The case remains under investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Timmons, one of three prosecutors who presented the federal government’s case, said he couldn’t comment on any potential future indictments.
Kim Taylor, who remains free pending sentencing, faces up to five years in prison on each charge.
“Now is a time for empathy for a family that is suffering,” said her attorney, F. Montgomery Brown, adding his focus is to get the best outcome at sentencing.
Brown didn’t immediately respond to an email message from The Associated Press about the case or the couple’s reaction.
Woodbury County election officials became aware of possible voter fraud in September 2020, when two Iowa State University students from Sioux City requested absentee ballots, only to learn ballots had already been cast in their name.
They were allowed to withdraw those ballots and cast their own, but Woodbury County Auditor Pat Gill, who also is election commissioner, kept the fraudulent ballots. When processing absentee ballots on election night, election workers notified Gill that the handwriting on a number of them appeared to be similar.
Most voter fraud cases involve one voter casting a single ballot in another person’s name, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Evans, who helped prosecute Taylor’s case.
“Despite what’s in the media, voter fraud is extremely rare,” Evans said. “To have someone vote dozens of times for several people, that is rare.”