Woman Facing Voter Fraud Charge Says She Didn’t Mean to Vote Twice

NEVADA COUNTY -- The U.S. Justice Department is keeping a close eye on Sacramento County during Tuesday’s election.

The Civil Rights Division will be monitoring polling places to ensure voting rights laws are followed, and voter fraud is not tolerated.

"I’m coming back to California just to turn myself in. Self-surrender they call it," said Deidra Vrooman.

Driving back to Nevada County from the east coast, Vrooman was ready to face a judge.

"I go back and forth between anger and apathy because I could potentially face three years in prison for this and can’t afford a lawyer," Vrooman told FOX40.

Vrooman is charged with felony election fraud for casting two ballots in the 2016 primary election.

She said her intention was not to vote twice.

"Certainly not. I assumed they would have in place a way to know, since they sent me two ballots, which one was to be accounted for," she said.

Vrooman was mailed two ballots, one from Nevada County and one from Alameda County. She was living out of her car at the time and did not know where she was currently registered, so she sent both back.

"It was just my right to vote, so I voted," Vrooman explained. "I was mailed two ballots by the government so I was just following instructions to send them both in."

Janna Haynes with Sacramento County Voter Registration and Elections says regardless of intent, it’s a crime to vote twice.

"What’s important is not how many ballots you receive but the fact that you only vote one back because you can legally only vote one back," Haynes said.

She says if you receive two ballots, you should check on the secretary of state’s website to see where you’re registered and only send that ballot back.

"We’re trying to make sure that every voted ballot counts but also that we don’t have fraudulent voters trying to vote on behalf of someone else," Haynes said.

As for Vrooman, she just hopes this error won’t put her behind bars.

"I don’t think my two accounted votes because of some government clerical error is going to make a big difference," she said.

The registrar’s office will also be keeping a close eye to make sure signatures match your registration and that ballots are well sealed after they’re cast, all to guard against any kind of election fraud.