"I believe that people who cheat when they vote should be penalized accordingly, and it is a huge honor that we have in this nation to have the right to a fair and free election," said Del. Kathy Afzali, (R) -Frederick County.
Afzali's first bill, House Bill 211, would make voter fraud a felony and increase the fine from $5,000 to $10,000.
"To some people $5,000 isn't a lot of money," Afzali said. "Hopefully $10,000 is a bit more, and then making it a felony, which means you would lose your right to vote in elections from the point forward in the State of Maryland."
The second bill, House Bill 357, would make it easier to take people who have died off voter rolls. Currently, the Maryland Board of Elections is required to mail a letter to the person who has died and wait for a response. If they don't hear back, that person is left on the rolls for two elections. Afzali's bill would allow the board of elections of use social security records to take deceased people off voter records.
"It's critical. I believe in a time when we've had evidence of voter fraud, and we have had cases in the State of Maryland where dead people have continued to vote even after they're buried, which is a little strange because most people I know can't vote after they're dead," Afzali said.
Governor Martin O'Malley took over one of Afzali's bills last session, increasing the fine for voting fraud to $5,000.
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