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State/Defense Rest in Voter Fraud Trial


A voter fraud trial in Keokuk could go to the jury Thursday morning.

Closing arguments are scheduled to get underway at 9:30 A.M. in the case of the state of Iowa versus Kelli Jo Griffin, 40, of Montrose.

Griffin faces one count of perjury after voting in the city election last November despite a felony conviction.

She testified Wednesday afternoon that she thought her voting rights had been restored after completing a five-year probation term in January 2013 on a drug conviction in Henry County (Ia).

That was not the case, though, because of an executive order from Governor Terry Branstad in 2011. 

The order reversed a 2005 executive order from former Governor Tom Vilsack that had restored voting rights to convicted felons.

Griffin said she wanted to vote because she lives in Montrose and to teach her children about elections.

The state tried to paint a different picture of Griffin during cross-examination.

Griffin had testified that her life was difficult due to domestic violence, drug abuse and molestation as a child.

Lee County Attorney Mike Short, representing the state, said Griffin was trying to hide that past and that voting in the election would make her feel like a normal citizen, not a convicted drug dealer.

Griffin was the only defense witness. 

Four people testified for the state, focusing on voter registration procedure and how Griffin’s felony conviction was discovered.

Griffin faces up to five years in prison if convicted of perjury.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.