After a local newspaper ran stories on two charges of voter fraud from Maryland women in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Delegate Kathy Afzali, who has fought for tougher penalties on voter fraud and to strengthen voter ID laws, said was not surprised. "Every illegal vote takes away from a legitimate vote," Delegate Afzali said. "There is someone whose vote didn't count because a fraudulent vote eliminated theirs."
In the last session of the Maryland General Assembly, Delegate Afzali fought to increase voter fraud penalties from a misdemeanor with a penalty of $2,500 to a felony with a maximum fine of up to$10,000. Although she was not able to increase the penalty that high, Delegate Afzali was able to convince the legislature to increased the maximum fine to$5,000 with imprisonment of up to 5 years through the Governor's Improving Access to Voting Law.
Delegate Afzali also proposed a Voter ID law which would require that a voter present a current government-issued photo identification in order to vote a regular ballot. This bill also died in committee.
"I fought hard for the voter ID and voter fraud laws and settled with a compromise on the Governor's bill. I still do not believe enough was done and will keep fighting during the next session to make voter integrity a priority in Maryland." Delegate Afzali continued, "I hope these two cases will shed light on voter fraud in Maryland. I want every citizen who makes the effort to show up at the polls to know that their vote matters."
Afzali is seeking another term in office, she said.