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0000017a-3b40-d913-abfe-bf44a4d40000WVXU's news team will be in various important locations around the tri-state to provide local coverage of the 2012 Election.

Nineteen suspected "double voters" subpoenaed

The Hamilton County Board of Elections voted Tuesday to issue subpoenas to 19 voters who are suspected of voting twice in the November election, which could lead to criminal prosecutions.

The board also voted to issue nine subpoenas to people who are not suspected of voting twice but are “fact witnesses,’’ according to Tim Burke, the chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Elections.

Most of the voters being investigated are persons who allegedly voted by absentee ballot and then cast provisional ballots at polling places on election days.

“It’s a significant number of people,’’ said Burke. “It’s something we take very seriously.”

It is only a handful of voters out of the nearly 422,000 who voted in Hamilton County in the November election.

The last case of double-voting that was prosecuted in Hamilton County took place in 2008, where a man voted in his home state of Connecticut and in Cincinnati.

The board has scheduled two hearings to take testimony from the voters and witnesses – a session on Feb. 15 and Feb. 22.

Then, the board will decide whether or not there is enough circumstantial evidence to refer the cases to the Hamilton County prosecutor for investigation of voter fraud, a fourth degree felony.

The elections board was ready to refer five voters to the prosecutor’s office last month, but decided to wait until all the alleged double-voting cases were investigated, on the advice of the board’s lawyer.

Howard Wilkinson is in his 50th year of covering politics on the local, state and national levels.