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Nevada County judge says election fraud case can proceed

Deidra Vrooman

A woman accused of election fraud will advance toward trial after a Thursday ruling by a Nevada County judge.

Deidra Vrooman, 48, is next scheduled to appear today in Superior Court. No trial date has been set, court records show.

The ruling from Judge Linda Sloven was no surprise. The judge after Tuesday’s preliminary hearing for Vrooman indicated she’d decline to dismiss the case, or alternatively reduce it to a misdemeanor, though she wanted time to review the law before issuing a formal decision.

“When we can prove that a defendant voted twice in the same election, they do need to be held accountable,” Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh said.

Vrooman faces a maximum of three years in prison if convicted on the felony charge, he added.

Tamara Zuromskis, Vrooman’s deputy public defender, said in an email she disagrees with the judge’s decision to keep the charge a felony.

“This charge is what’s known as a ‘wobbler’ — a charge that can either be a felony or a misdemeanor,” Zuromskis said. “This means that the more serious versions of such crimes should be felonies and the less serious versions should be misdemeanors. In Ms. Vrooman’s case, she is 48 years old, she has no criminal record and she is alleged to have cast two ballots in the same election, which could never have affected the outcome of the election. It’s misdemeanor conduct at best.”

The judge heard testimony during the preliminary hearing that Vrooman cast ballots in both Alameda and Nevada counties for the June 2016 election. A check by the Secretary of State’s Office revealed the double vote and an investigation began.

An investigator testified that Vrooman admitted to voting twice. However, Vrooman also said she didn’t realize it was a crime.

Arrested Nov. 30, Vrooman was released Tuesday on her own recognizance.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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