NEVADA COUNTY (CBS13) — Accused of voting more than once, a former Nevada County woman is now facing jail time. It happened during the 2016 presidential primary after Deidra Vrooman was mailed two absentee ballots.
“I wanted at least one of my votes to count,” said Vrooman.
Vrooman says she mailed both of the ballots in, unsure of which one was valid.
Vrooman said she sent in the ballots “with the assumption that the state was sophisticated enough to eliminate the one that wasn’t relevant.”
The 48-year-old says she was living in her car at the time, going back and forth between Grass Valley and Berkeley and was registered in both counties.
“It never occurred to me that I was committing voter fraud and that I would be charged with a felony because of it,” Vrooman said.
Vrooman has since moved to the East Coast and says last year she was contacted by the California Secretary of State’s office asking why she mailed in two ballots. She says she explained it was a mistake.
“And I assumed that it was over then.”
But a few weeks ago, she says she found out there was a warrant for her arrest, as she’s accused of committing felony voter fraud and is facing up to three years in prison.
The Secretary of State could not comment on this specific case but did point us to California’s Election Code which says everyone is guilty of a crime punishable by imprisonment if they vote more than once, or attempt to vote more than once.
Voting officials say there is a process in place to make sure two votes from the same person are not counted, but anyone who casts more than one ballot is red flagged and investigated.
“It seems like a waste of resources,” said Vrooman, “It wasn’t malicious intent to sabotage the government.”
The charges were filed by the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office. Vrooman says she’s contacted the Secretary of State’s office asking they dismiss the case, but has not heard back.
Vrooman has traveled back to Nevada City and plans to turn herself in on the warrant on Thursday. CBS13 could find no prior criminal history.
We’ve also learned another Nevada County woman who is 60-years-old, was arrested and charged for the same type of felony voter fraud in 2016. She is out on $10,000 bail.