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86-Year-Old’s Voter Fraud Case Tossed Out

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A great-great-grandmother charged with voter fraud will have her case dismissed, according to her attorney.

Margaret Schneider, 86, voted by absentee last year from her St. Peter home. Then, she showed up to her polling place in August to vote in the state’s primary election.

Schneider has Parkinson’s disease and suffers from dementia, and claims she simply forgot, but the Nicollet County Attorney says State Law forced her to charge Margaret.

“The statute requires that the charges were filed, so the statute takes away my charging discretion,” says Zehnder Fischer, “It doesn’t take away my discretion on how the case is resolved.

It was a felony, which meant she faced a felony charge, and up to five years in prison.

However, Schneider didn’t have to come to court Tuesday and her record will be cleared if she has no other voting infractions by November of 2014.

A month ago, when we first talked to Schneider, she just wanted the voter fraud charges to go away.

“I wish they’d just forget all about it,” said Schneider. “You get 86 and you try to remember everything you’ve done in your life.”

Tuesday, that’s what happened — with the prosecution and defense both in agreement.

“I’m grateful to the prosecutor for having agreed to send it to diversion, which is a version of getting it dismissed,” said Bill Sherry, attorney for Schneider.

So, as long as Margaret adheres to the state’s voting laws, the case is dismissed.

The last time someone was prosecuted for voting twice was all the way back in the 1800s in Minnesota. Schneider is scheduled to make her first appearance in Nicollet County Court on Tuesday. She is planning to represent herself because she says she doesn’t think she did anything wrong.

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