Voter fraud case ongoing in Burke County

A pre-trial conference has been scheduled for today in a case of suspected voter fraud in Burke and Ward counties. Dale Monte Larsen, Stanley, allegedly filed an absentee ballot in Bowbells in Burke County and then voted in Kenmare in Ward County.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed with the court in June, there was a mix-up. Larsen said he had stopped at the courthouse in Bowbells to fill out an absentee ballot, but it took too long so he left. He didn’t think he had voted in Burke County, although he had been recorded as voting.

Larsen told authorities he had purchased property in Kenmare, so he voted there.

He is charged with Class A misdemeanor voter fraud in North Central District Court. A Class A misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of up to a year in jail and $3,000 in fines.

Court records show Larsen has been an uncooperative defendant, refusing to provide a plea of guilty or not guilty and making inappropriate comments in court that resulted in a contempt order. The court ordered Larsen to be held in jail for a day, but the Mountrail County Jail refused to accept him without a medical examination, due to prior interactions between Larsen and the Mountrail County Sheriff’s Office. Larsen refused medical attention, and the court dismissed its order at the request of the Burke County state’s attorney.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger listed the case as one of at least two probable cases of double voting that occurred in the 2016 general election. The other instance involved an individual who cast an absentee ballot in North Dakota and voted in person in Idaho. The state was notified that since this was a single instance of double voting, and there was no evidence of conspiracy, the Federal Bureau of Investigation declined to prosecute.