# Terry Brantsad

Trump's conspiracy-mongering inspired one of his Iowa supporters to commit voter fraud

Terri Rote of Des Moines announced on Facebook last month that she was registered to vote. Good for her! But she took it too far when she cast early ballots at both the Polk County Elections Office and a satellite location. She could go to prison if convicted of election misconduct, a Class D felony.

Rote caucused for Donald Trump in February, and a quick look at her Facebook feed makes it easy to guess why the GOP presidential nominee appeals to her. I enclose below a selection of racist or conspiracy-minded posts by Rote in recent months. In some of the threads, she advocated violence against Black Lives Matter protesters or “liked” racist remarks made by commenters. She apparently lost her job at McDonald’s a few years back for infractions including using a racist slur against a co-worker. UPDATE: Her front door features a Confederate flag along with a bumper sticker showing an adapted Hillary Clinton campaign logo next to the slogan “LOCK HER UP!”

Speaking to Iowa Public Radio, Rote said, “I wasn’t planning on doing it twice, it was spur of the moment […] The polls are rigged.” IPR paraphrased her as saying “she was afraid her first ballot for Trump would be changed to a vote for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.” Rote likewise told the Washington Post that voting at the satellite site was “a spur-of-the-moment thing”: “I don’t know what came over me.”

Authorities in Polk County have not named two other people, not yet arrested but suspected of voting twice, by mail and in person. We don’t know which candidates they favored. UPDATE/CLARIFICATION: According to KCCI’s Tommie Clark, “The other two cases involved confusion over ballots and ballot requests, which experts say is not a rare occurrence.” Clark’s story noted that Rote’s first vote will count.

Meanwhile, Trump is still laying the groundwork for political unrest after November 8, telling his supporters the election is being fixed. Most recently, he claimed at a Colorado rally Saturday afternoon that postal service or election workers are throwing out ballots marked for him. Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate spoke out forcefully against the idea that the election could be “rigged” against Trump. But Governor Terry Branstad bent over backwards to find a kernel of truth in voter fraud allegations.

I’ve never been more concerned about violence following an American election. Sorry, Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds: Trump’s outrageous comments and conspiracy-mongering are much more than “clutter” and “distractions.”

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