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The Fairfax County Electoral Board has referred 17 cases of potential voter fraud to local, state and federal prosecutors for investigation.

Electoral Board Secretary Brian Schoeneman said in a released statement that the individuals have not yet been accused of a crime, but appear to have voted in both Maryland and Fairfax County during the 2012 presidential elections.

Election fraud is a felony in Virginia, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $2,500 fine.

“The Electoral Board takes its responsibility to ensure election integrity seriously,” Schoeneman said. “After our initial review of county voting records and a comparison to Maryland voting records, we determined that it was in the public interest to refer these individuals to law enforcement for investigation.”

The individuals were referred to the county by a third party voter organization that compared voter registration records from both states, Schoeneman said. The county then did its own review,

“There are approximately 700,000 registered voters in Fairfax County and at least one election each year, but more often we have several elections a year. It is a gargantuan task to keep our lists up to date – a challenge that is shared by jurisdictions across the country,” Schoeneman said. “By investigating these potential cases of voter fraud, we hope to deter anyone whose actions may call into question the integrity of our election process.”

Schoeneman said that the people in question were of diverse ages, genders and political affiliations.

Republican leaders in the House of Delegates, including Centreville Del. Tim Hugo (R-Dist. 40) said in a released statement Tuesday that they are “deeply concerned” about the allegations and would continue to monitor the cases.

“These are alarming allegations that, if true, could undermine the integrity of our electoral processes,” the statement read.

The General Assembly passed controversial, stricter voter ID requirements during the 2013 session that will be in effect for this fall’s elections. The debate over that bill raised questions about the prevalence of voter fraud.

All voters will have to show a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, military ID, student ID from a Virginia college or university, or a passport, Those who don’t already have a photo ID can get a free voter ID card at any local registrar’s office.

kschumitz@fairfaxtimes.com