The wife of an Iowa county supervisor was convicted of 52 counts of voter fraud Tuesday in a ballot-stuffing scheme to help her husband secure the Republican nomination to run for Congress in 2020.
Kim Phuong Taylor, 49, was found guilty by a federal jury in Sioux City of 26 counts of providing false information in registering and voting, three counts of fraudulent registration and 23 counts of fraudulent voting in the race which her husband, Jeremy Taylor, ultimately lost. He was running a congressional campaign for Iowa's 4th Congressional District and finished a distant third.
After Taylor’s husband lost in the primary, he ran for Woodbury County Supervisor in the 2020 general election and Taylor again engaged in ballot fraud, causing absentee ballots to be fraudulently requested and cast, according to the Justice Department. He ultimately won election to the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors that fall.
Prosecutors said Kim Phuong Taylor, a Vietnam native, approached numerous voters of Vietnamese heritage who had limited English comprehension and filled out and signed election forms and ballots on behalf of them and their English-speaking children.
Kim Phuong Taylor submitted or caused others to submit dozens of voter registrations, absentee ballot request forms, and absentee ballots containing false information, prosecutors said.
She completed and signed voter forms without voters’ permission and told others that they could sign on behalf of relatives who were not present, the Justice Department said.
She faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for each count.
Woodbury County election officials became aware of possible voter fraud in September 2020, when two Iowa State University students from Sioux City requested absentee ballots, only to learn ballots had already been cast in their name, according to the Associated Press.
The students were allowed to withdraw those ballots and cast their own, but Woodbury County Auditor Pat Gill, who also is an election commissioner, held onto the fraudulent ballots.
While processing absentee ballots, election workers noticed that the handwriting on a number of absentee ballots appeared similar and notified Gill.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Evans, who helped prosecute Taylor’s case, said most voter fraud cases involve one voter casting a single ballot in another person’s name.
"Despite what’s in the media, voter fraud is extremely rare," Evans said. "To have someone vote dozens of times for several people, that is rare."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.