SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — The wife of a northwest Iowa county executive was convicted Tuesday of a scheme to stuff the ballot box in her husband’s unsuccessful race for the Republican nomination for congressional nomination in 2020.
The Sioux City Journal Reports that the jury deliberated for six hours before finding Kim Taylor guilty of 26 counts of making false statements during registration and voting, three counts of fraudulent registration and 23 counts of fraudulent voting.
Prosecutors said Taylor, a native of Vietnam, approached numerous voters of Vietnamese descent with limited English proficiency, filling out and signing election forms and ballots on behalf of them and their English-speaking children.
They said the program was designed to help her husband, Jeremy Taylor, a former member of the Iowa House of Representatives, who finished a distant third in the race for the Republican nomination for Iowa’s 4th District congressional seat. Despite this defeat, he ultimately won election to the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors that fall.
No one testified that Kim Taylor personally signed any of the documents, but her presence at each voter’s home as the forms were filled out was the thread running through the case.
Jeremy Taylor, who met his wife while teaching in Vietnam, was not charged but was named as an unindicted co-conspirator. The case remains under investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Timmons, one of three prosecutors who presented the case to the federal government, said he could not comment on possible future charges.
Kim Taylor, who remains free pending sentencing, faces up to five years in prison on each count.
“Now is the time to show compassion for a suffering family,” said her attorney, F. Montgomery Brown, adding that his focus was on achieving the best possible outcome at sentencing.
Brown did not immediately respond to an email 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 that ballots had already been cast in their names.
They were allowed to withdraw those ballots and cast their own, but Woodbury County Auditor Pat Gill, who is also an election commissioner, kept the fraudulent ballots. While processing mail-in ballots on election night, election workers told Gill that the handwriting appeared to be similar on several ballots.
In most voter fraud cases, a voter casts a single ballot on behalf of another person, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Evans, who helped prosecute Taylor’s case.
“Despite what the media says, voter fraud is extremely rare,” Evans said. “For someone to vote for multiple people dozens of times is rare.”
Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.