Two Maryland women attempted to use their dead mothers' identities to cast illegal votes in last year's presidential election, the state prosecutor's office said Tuesday.
Officials said a Frederick County woman was indicted for attempting to cast an absentee ballot for her mother, who died two months before Election Day. And a Montgomery County woman allegedly got her deceased mother's voter registration reactivated and cast a provisional ballot under her name, according to the indictment.
In both instances, election officials did not count the fraudulent ballots. The cases are unrelated.
"The most basic principle of a fair election is the concept 'One person, one vote'. The integrity of the ballot box and voting process is essential to our democratic society," State Prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt said in a statement. "We cannot and will not tolerate attempts to subvert this vitally important process."
Elsie Virginia Schildt, 46, of Frederick County is charged with impersonating another person in an attempt to vote, attempting to vote under a false name and attempting to vote more than once in the same election.
Linda Earlette Wells, 67, of Montgomery County is charged with impersonating a voter in order to register in the name of the voter, attempting to vote under a false name and impersonating another person in an attempt to vote.
Each woman faces up to 15 years in prison and several thousand dollars in fines. Online court records do not show an attorney for either woman. Neither woman could be reached for comment Tuesday.
Because of an error in a news release, a previous version of this story misspelled the name of Elsie Virginia Schildt.
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