WETHERSFIELD, CT (WFSB) -- A Wethersfield woman’s voting selfie is sparking concerns about voter fraud.

Laura Ewell moved across town and got a second ballot. She took a picture of herself when she dropped off at town hall.

Some Facebook users flagged it, saying it raised questions about the integrity of the voting system, but she said that’s not the case.

“I think that it’s unfortunately very telling about the state of our nation today,” said Laura Ewell, of Wethersfield.

When she cast her absentee ballot, she did what so many other voters have done, which is taking a selfie of the moment and sharing it on social media.

However, this was her second ballot, after having moved during the election cycle, which made her first ballot invalid.

So, Ewell joked about casting two ballots, but some Facebook users shared the post as a sign of a loophole that let Ewell vote twice.

“It’s not a rare occurrence because people are moving all over the state right now,” said Sue Larsen, president of the Registrar of Voters Association of Connecticut.

Local and state election officials say the system did exactly what it was supposed to do.

Ewell requested an absentee ballot in August, but then in October, she moved across town to a different legislative district.

“A couple of weeks later, I received a second ballot in the mail to my new address,” Ewell said.

Ewell was surprised to get the ballot and called the town clerk, who informed Ewell her first ballot was invalid because she moved.

Those safeguards are in place even if you move towns, as Connecticut uses a centralized system for voter registrations.

Voter fraud also carries stiff penalties, up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine in Connecticut.

There are also potential federal crimes, as using absentee ballots could be considered mail fraud, and there are federal elections on the ballot.

“These are serious penalties and not to be trifled with,” said Deputy Secretary of the State Scott Bates.

Ewell did explain further down in her Facebook post what really happened, but she says if she could do it over again, she would have done more to make it clear nothing bad happened.

“I probably would have done a better job in the top part of my post explaining the process,” Ewell said.

She added that she called and if she had thrown away the second ballot, then she wouldn’t have her vote count at all.

Election officials say you too should call your town hall if you have any questions about the election.

Copyright 2020 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(2) comments

onemorelap

Same thing happened to me. I've received two ballots. My town clerk told me the same story. My concern is that I'm voting in person and someone could've easily already voted in my mail ballot. Being told "that can't happen" isn't reassuring to me in the least.

INewski

And the town clerk told her that her first ballot is invalid and everything was all sunshine and rainbows. BS!!! Explain the process of how her first ballot was actually found and destroyed.

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