BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — A 57-year-old Brookings man has been found guilty of voter fraud by a Brookings County jury.
Court documents show that between the dates of Sept. 30, 2022 and Nov. 4, 2022, Daniel J. Schoonhoven attempted to vote more than once, having voted absentee, and then attempted to vote again in-person.
The documents specify that Schoonhoven either did vote, or offered to vote twice. He pled not guilty, claiming that he’d forgotten he had already voted.
Under 12-26-8, any person who “votes more than once at any election or who offers to vote after having once voted, either in the same or in another election precinct in South Dakota or elsewhere, is guilty of a Class 6 felony.”
According to documents, jurors were instructed at the time of trial that Schoonhoven had indeed voted or offered to vote twice, that any person who does so is guilty of a crime, and that for the crime to have been committed, the perpetrator must have intended to vote or offer to vote more than once.
Under South Dakota law, a Class 6 felony is punishable by 2-years in prison, a $4,000 fine, or both.
KELOLAND News also spoke with Brookings County State’s Attorney Dan Nelson, who shed more light on the facts of the case.
Nelson told KELOLAND that Schoonhoven had turned up to vote early on September 30th, but did not have his ID. He was allowed to cast a ballot, signing a personal identity affidavit, which KELOLAND has viewed.
Schoonhoven next turned up at the Holy Life Tabernacle in Brookings on Nov. 8 to vote. Nelson said that poll workers told Schoonhoven that his ballot had already been cast, but that he claimed to not remember.
The precinct superintendent then spoke with Schoonhoven, again explaining that the county had already recorded his ballot. Nelson said that Schoonhoven again said that that he didn’t remember voting, and wanted to cast another ballot.
In the end, Schoonhoven was allowed to cast a provisional ballot, which Nelson said was then set aside. This allowed for an investigation to occur into whether or not Schoonhoven had actually cast a ballot already on Sept. 30.
Nelson said that overall, Schoonhoven was advised three separate times that he had already voted and that his continued insistence on voting again anyway contributed to the decision to prosecute him.
Documents also show a number of prior charges against Schoonhoven, including multiple DUIs, a traffic violation, failure to maintain financial responsibility, careless driving, and simple assault.
Oh Schoonhoven’s 5 DUI charges, he pled guilty to 4, with the most recent one — filed in October 2022, still pending.
It is not publicly stated who Schoonhoven voted for, as that type of ballot info is confidential.
Schoonhoven will be sentenced on May 16, 2023.