Kim Taylor is facing 52 counts of election fraud after she allegedly forged voting materials for the 2020 primary and general elections in which her husband, Jeremy Taylor, was on the ballot.
On Monday morning, the defense called on four witnesses, one of which included FBI Agent Matthew Murphy who reviewed fraudulent voting materials and phone records for this case. When asked, Agent Murphy confirmed that they reviewed incoming and outgoing calls, but they did not obtain any GPS records.
The defense also asked Murphy if they had an expert review the handwriting on the voter materials, which they did not.
Kim Taylor was given the chance to take the stand, but she declined to testify and the court moved on to the closing arguments.
The legal representatives for the government began by reiterating that Kim Taylor is “a wife who wanted her husband to win by any means necessary” and accused her of stealing the votes of “Americans who spoke English and didn’t need her help.”
The government further alleged that Kim Taylor told several voters to lie when she learned that the FBI had begun to investigate.
Additionally, prosecutors noted that several witnesses couldn’t vote when their documents had been submitted. One witness was said to have been deployed at the time, while another had been living in South Dakota for the last 10 years.
Prosecutors also called attention to several mistakes on the fraudulent ballot including incorrect first names or wrong addresses on the voting materials.
During the defense’s closing arguments, Kim Taylor’s lawyer noted that the government has to prove the intent to commit a crime, not by ignorance, mistake, or accident.
“Kim Taylor acted within accordance to her character,” according to the defense.
The defense also called the credibility of the witnesses into question while noting that it is a very “witness-heavy case.”
Additionally, the defense noted that County Auditor Pat Gill also filled out voting materials for voters before the law was changed.
The defense noted that the FBI didn’t have anyone analyze the multiple different sets of handwriting that were presented during the case. Also, the FBI couldn’t identify a law that requires a “qualified interpreter” or that the documents should be “translated accurately.”
The defense concluded their arguments by noting that there is no evidence showing that Kim Taylor signed the documents herself, or that she permitted anyone else to do so.
During the government’s rebuttal, prosecutors noted that it is not a requirement to have criminal intent to break the law.
Some of the witnesses wanted to vote, some didn’t, but none of them gave permission to have documents submitted on their behalf, according to prosecutors.
The government’s representatives accused Kim Taylor of obtaining plain documents that she filled out later, or that when she left the family homes she would take those documents with her.
“This is not a case of mistakes. Kim was intentional in her actions,” according to prosecutors. They also noted that since Kim Taylor had been working on campaigns since 2008, she knew what the voting documents said. Therefore, she should have been able to translate them accurately.
Prosecutors concluded their rebuttal by stating that “she jeopardized the very foundation of our democratic system.”
Jeremy Taylor was named as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the case, but he did not take the stand during the trial.