Plea Deal In Voter Fraud Case
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LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Las Vegas Strip casino worker who agreed to plead guilty to trying to vote twice in the November presidential election thrust herself into Nevada’s voter photo ID debate on Thursday, saying she was trying to show how easy it would be to vote with just a signature.
“This has always been an issue with me. I just feel the system is flawed,” Roxanne Rubin said in the court hallway after agreeing to plead guilty to a gross misdemeanor that in Nevada that could carry a penalty of up to a year in jail.
“If we’re showing ID for everything else, why wouldn’t we show our ID in order to vote?” she said.
Rubin, a 56-year-old registered Republican, originally faced a felony charge of voting more than once in the same election. She could end up with a misdemeanor disorderly conduct conviction if she meets the conditions of her plea deal.
Accompanied in court by her husband and her lawyer, Osvaldo Fumo, Rubin agreed to pay almost $2,500 in restitution to the state for the investigation, promised Justice of the Peace Deborah Lippis that she would stay out of trouble for six months, and said she would complete an impulse control counseling class and 100 hours of community service.
Prosecutor Jeffrey Segal, the deputy state attorney general who handled the case, called the agreement “a just resolution, given this particular defendant and this particular case.”
Segal gave no more info, but said he knew of no other voters arrested in Nevada or nationally on a similar charge during the 2012 election.
Rubin insisted outside court that she never intended to actually vote twice. She voted once Oct. 29 near her Henderson home and was stopped at a second early voting polling place in Las Vegas after shouting to her husband that poll workers hadn’t checked her photo ID.
She said she was shocked when FBI agents arrested her several days later at work as a marketing host at the Riviera hotel-casino.
Rubin noted that in December, Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller asked the state Legislature to require voters to show photo identification at polling places. Both Rubin and an aide to Miller, Catherine Lu, said Rubin had no connection with the secretary of state.
“I’m not politically motivated,” Rubin said. “This is a fairness issue.”
Miller, who was in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, said in a statement that if Rubin was trying to demonstrate how easy it would be to commit voter fraud, “she clearly failed and proved just the opposite.”
“That does not, however, mean that there is no need for vigilance and enhancements to the existing system,” Miller said.
Miller’s proposal is to tap the state Department of Motor Vehicles database to transfer photos of registered voters to county election departments for distribution to precinct workers in electronic poll books.
Nevada Democratic party leaders including Senate Majority Leader Mo Dennis and Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick have questioned whether installing a voter ID system costing tens of millions of dollars would be a good investment at a time when Nevada has other pressing needs.
Denis and Kirkpatrick didn’t immediately respond to messages about Rubin’s case.
Denis said previously that Rubin’s arrest showed that the election system worked.