With the 2012 election year underway, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman reported to commissioners last week on felon voter cases. His conclusion: The county doesn't have a problem with vote fraud.
In the 2008 election in which 665,000 Hennepin County residents voted, Freeman said his office reviewed 472 possible fraud cases. He said they charged 38 felons for voting who shouldn't have, and of that number, 26 pleaded guilty.
Out of 176 cases stemming from the 2010 election, seven have been charged so far. About 470,000 county residents voted in that election.
"The people in Hennepin County follow the law when they vote," Freeman said.
Successful voter fraud cases must prove the felon knew he couldn't vote, and there's often not evidence of that. So Freeman is recommending a law requiring felons to sign statements before an election that they know they're not eligible to vote. Felons can only vote when they have their civil rights restored.