AG Nessel, SOS Benson Urge Voters Not to Commit Felony by Casting Multiple Ballots in Elections

Contact: Ryan Jarvi 517-335-7666
Agency: Attorney General

September 4, 2020

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson are reminding voters to be smart in the November general election – and to avoid committing a felony by casting two ballots, as recently suggested by President Donald Trump.

Voter fraud is typically prosecuted as a felony in the state of Michigan, and bipartisan legislation was introduced in the state Legislature this summer that would codify it as a felony offense.

Attorney General Nessel and Secretary Benson recorded a video to remind voters that casting two ballots is illegal. Click here to view the video.

“Some of you may have heard that President Trump suggested voters test our election system by voting twice – both absentee and then again in person,” Nessel said in the video. “But let me make this perfectly clear: voting twice is illegal, no matter who tells you to do it. The president’s idea is a great idea only for people who are looking to go to jail.”

Trump on Wednesday suggested that people should send in absentee voter ballots then vote in person at the polls as a way of testing the security of the elections system. However, that is illegal.

“There’s also no reason at all for voters to test Michigan’s election system, because it has been tested by three successful elections already this year, and in every single one of them it has proven that it is absolutely safe and secure,” Benson said in the video. “We have protections in place to ensure election officials track and verify every ballot they send and receive and in every instance we ensure that each person gets only one vote.”

Those who vote twice can be found in violation of both state and federal law. At the state level, someone who intentionally votes twice can face penalties of four years in prison and a $2,000 fine, while penalties at the federal level include five years imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine.

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