The first big Iowa "voter fraud" trial is over and ends in an embarrassing failure, as a jury took less than an hour to find Kelli Jo Griffin not guilty.
Prosecutors couldn't have picked a weaker case. Griffin had completed their terms of her past sentencing and had been told by her attorney that she could re-register again after five years. She waited that long, and not being a political junkie like anyone reading this didn't know that the policy had changed during the intervening time. . When she voted the poll workers didn't catch her because she's remarried and changed her name.
Intent is critical here, and that's why most prosecutors are not pursuing these cases. Following Ryan Foley's excellent coverage of the trial, it looked to me like Lee County Attorney Michael Short had a chip on his shoulder about Griffin, perhaps from years back in the prior cases. Foley pushed the envelope of Objective Journalism to the edge in describing Short shouting in Griffin's face.
It seems, according to Short, that Griffin voting was part of some grand conspiracy to hide from her past. Ashamed to say Short is a Democrat and I hope he's getting a primary challenge.
Schultz shamelessly claimed “as a result of this case this individual will not cancel out the vote of anyone in the future.” Cut to 3rd CD debate. Mr. Schultz, what is your position on the crisis in Ukraine? "Voter fraud."
What's getting ignored here: move the timeline of this case back three years, to a 2005 conviction and a 2010 vote, and there's no problem. This only happened because Terry Branstad changed the policy on literally his first day back in office.
The case has served one purpose: it's scared a whole lot of people who have some trouble in their past, and now they're less likely to take a chance on exercising their rights. But the jury's fast verdict is another sign that the backlash is kicking in.