Newscast: Voter fraud case involving Sioux City woman now with jury for decision
SIOUX CITY – The outcome of the federal trial of the wife of a Woodbury County supervisor accused of voter fraud is in the hands of the jury, as Kim Phuong Taylor announced she would not testify in her own defense, and then closing arguments followed.
“(Taylor) denies that she forged any signature, or that she authorized someone to forge a signature” on voting materials, Defense Attorney F. Montgomery Brown said, while also urging the jury to resist criminalizing people like Taylor who want to help others vote.
Taylor is accused of 52 counts of voter fraud. Federal investigators say she illegally filled out election documents and ballots for members of the Vietnamese community, who had limited ability to read and understand English.
Prosecutors say Kim Taylor pursued unlawful means to help her husband, Jeremy Taylor, who ran as a Republican unsuccessfully for a congressional seat and who months later in 2020 then won a Woodbury County Supervisor seat.
Last week, the prosecution called several witnesses who testified that the signatures on such voting materials as absentee ballot requests and absentee ballot return envelopes were not their signatures.
Taylor’s legal defense team carried out their portion of the trial in less than two hours Monday, calling a few Siouxland people who testified that Taylor is a helpful person of high integrity.
Witness Marilyn Johnson testified that Taylor “was well known in the Vietnamese community. She did a lot to help.”
Attorney Brown said that “zeal to support her husband is not a crime,” and there was no “secret scheme or devious intent” as Kim Taylor worked to encourage Vietnamese people to vote in Woodbury County.
Brown also raised the specter of racism, urging the jury to ponder whether this case would have been brought if a “white guy” was dropping off absentee ballots.
Prosecutor Ron Timmons in his closing remarks said American democracy cannot thrive if there is voter fraud, which undercuts the hallmark of one person, one vote. Timmons cited all the people who had previously testified that they went to vote in 2020, only to be told they had voted, which was a huge surprise to them.
Timmons said, “The evidence shows Kim Taylor filled out these forms and ballots…Every voting affidavit that is forged is a violation of the law.”
Brown made a point of noting the prosecution did not call any handwriting experts concerning signatures that were on the voting materials. The prosecutors did display drivers license copies that showed the signatures of the people, who testified in court that the voting signatures were different from how they sign names.
Jeremy Taylor has been named an unindicted co-conspirator in the case.
The jury will not hear from Woodbury County’s sheriff and a former county supervisor. They were expected to testify that Jeremy Taylor said he had a “lock” on a substantial number of votes from the Vietnamese community, so if the sheriff donated to Taylor’s campaign, he would get between 500 to 700 votes from the Vietnamese community.
However, last week the prosecution surprisingly rested its case without calling Sheriff Chad Sheehan or Rocky De Witt.