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Ames woman cleared in voter fraud investigation

Her suspected case of voter fraud was one of nine cases statewide referred to county prosecutors by the Iowa Secretary of State.
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AMES — Did you know that if you register to vote in another state you need to cancel your registration in the state you previously lived in?

One woman learned just that after the Ames Police Department began an investigation into her voting history.

Brandi Barrett moved to Ames from Ohio in 2014 to attend Iowa State University, according to a police report.

Her suspected case of voter fraud was one of nine cases statewide referred to county prosecutors by the Iowa Secretary of State, and the only in Story County.

Barrett currently has an Iowa driver’s license and State of Iowa voter’s card, which were issued to her in 2018. Investigators were concerned that she had been voting in both Iowa and Ohio, her home state.

Barrett attended the university from 2014-2017, but she told the officer that she didn’t vote in Iowa for the 2016 elections.

She told the officer that she moved back to Ohio for six months, then moved back to Ames in February 2018. That May, she registered to vote in Iowa. The police report says Barrett thought that her registration in Ohio would cancel out after she registered in Iowa. That was not the case.

She canceled her registration in Ohio around August of 2019 after she received voting information through the mail.

Barrett said she didn’t vote in Iowa in 2019, but she did in 2018. The last time she voted in Ohio was in 2016.

“[Ohio Secretary of State Elections Assistant Robin Fields] told me they had reviewed the signatures on the registration form and the poll book and found they did not match,” an investigator wrote. “So they dismissed their investigation with the conclusion someone had signed on the wrong line.”

It was determined Barrett didn’t intend to commit voter fraud and closed the investigation without filing charges.