Politics

University of Maine student accused of voting as roommate

"My office will vigorously investigate and prosecute any allegations of election fraud,” said Attorney General Aaron Frey.

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ORONO, Maine (AP) — A University of Maine student is facing criminal charges for voting with an absentee ballot in the name of a former roommate, officials said Tuesday.

Local election officials in Orono discovered the potential violation before the ballot was processed and alerted the secretary of state’s office, which relayed the information to state prosecutors.

“It is a serious crime in Maine to cast or attempt to cast an illegal vote, either absentee or in person. My office will vigorously investigate and prosecute any allegations of election fraud,” said Attorney General Aaron Frey.

The crime appeared to have more to do with a “personal dispute between former roommates, rather than an effort to influence the outcome of the election,” said Marc Malon, a spokesperson for the attorney general.

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Alyssa Dau, 19, of Bowdoinham, faces charges of voting in the name of another and forging the name of another on an absentee ballot return envelope, according to the criminal complaint. Both are punishable by up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

At the University of Maine, Dau made the dean’s list in the spring of 2020, according to the university’s online list. A message left at her Bowdoinham home wasn’t immediately returned.

Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said such cases of voter fraud are “extremely rare.”

“My office uses technology, including the Central Voter Registration system, and a network of municipal election officials to prevent fraud and detect it at an early stage to avoid any adverse consequences. Those mechanisms worked extremely well in this instance,” he said.

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As of Monday, nearly 370,000 Mainers already had cast their votes by absentee ballot, either by mail or in person.

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