Election Fraud Cases
Judge Jeff Weill overturned the results of the June 2020 First Ward Alderman Democratic primary election in Aberdeen, Mississippi, due to absentee ballot fraud, and has ordered a new election. Nicholas Holliday was declared the winner of the June primary by a margin of 37 votes over Robert Devaull. After Devaull filed a lawsuit challenging the results of the race, the Monroe County District court found that 66 of the 84 absentee ballots cast should not have been counted because they were not valid. A notary, Dallas Jones, was arrested for election fraud for notarizing ballots without watching voters sign ballots or checking their identification. In addition to the absentee ballot fraud, the court found evidence of intimidation at the polls by various public officials, including Mayor Maurice Howard, candidate Holliday, and Aberdeen Police Chief Henry Randle, which constituted violations of anti-electioneering rules at polling places.
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The 2018 election for Georgia's 28th House district was overturned twice by Senior Superior Court Judge David Sweat because some out-of-district voters submitted ballots, some voters moved out of the district between the first and second runoff elections, and there was at least one instance of duplicate voting. Though individuals were not prosecuted, this northeastern Georgia district faced three elections in the same year between the same Republican candidates (no Democrats ran). In the end, the incumbent lost to challenger Chris Erwin.
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A closely contested run-off election for a Justice of Peace seat was overturned by Visiting District Court Judge Joel Johnson, following a two-day hearing. A challenge to the election was filed by Ofelia "Ofie" Gutierrez, the candidate running against long time seatholder, Esequiel "Cheque" De La Paz, for the Justice of the Peace seat in Kleberg County. After a recount narrowed the vote differential to just six votes (312 to 318), seven of the sixteen votes contested by Guiterrez were thrown out by Judge Johnson, because they were cast by relatives of De La Paz who lived outside the Precinct 4 boundaries. A new election was ordered to be held before the end of August.
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In a Republican primary for a seat on the Kaufman County Court, Dennis Jones appeared to beat his challenger Tracy Gray by one vote. Gray challenged the results, claiming that a "vote harvester" had submitted a number of illegal mail-in ballots and that numerous eligible provisional ballots were uncounted. A district judge agreed, invalidating the election results and ordering a new election. The special election was held on July 21 and Tracy Gray prevailed, winning by 404 votes.
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Armando O'Cana won a run-off mayoral election in Mission, Texas, unseating longtime holder Norberto 'Beto' Salinas. Salinas contested the results of the election, after strong evidence emerged that O'Cana's campaign was bribing voters, tampering with mail-in ballots, and improperly assisting voters at the polls. After a two week trial during which numerous witnesses testified, Judge J. Bonner Dorsey voided the election stating, 'I hold or find, by clear and convincing evidence, that the number of illegal votes was in excess of 158.' Attorneys for O'Cana are currently appealing the ruling in the 13th Texas Court of Appeals.
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A judge overturned the preliminary election results and declared Lewis Washington as the winner in a contested Wetumpka City Council District 2 election. On election night, it appeared that Washington's opponent, Percy Gill, who was the incumbent, had won by three votes. Washington challenged the result, and following a trial in which live witnesses and forensics experts testified, the judge threw out eight absentee ballots that had been cast for Gill either because the signatures had been forged or they had not been notarized or signed in front of the requisite number of witnesses, and declared Washington to be the winner.
Source: https://herit.ag/3f4Fv2v, https://herit.ag/377vIV7
Penny Hubbard, the incumbent, won the 2016 Democratic primary for Missouri's 78th House District by 90 votes. Her challenger, Bruce Franks Jr., contested the results, citing the lopsided absentee vote tally that heavily favored Hubbard. District Judge Rex Burlison determined that a sufficient number of improper absentee ballots had been cast to change the results of the election, and ordered a special election. Mr. Franks won the re-do by a margin of 1,533 votes. The election of Rodney Hubbard Sr., Penny Hubbard's husband, who won his 2016 primary for 5th Democratic Ward committeeman, is also being challenged by his opponent Rasheen Aldridge, again citing irregularities in absentee ballots.
Following a contested election because of voter irregularities for the Precinct 7 City Council seat in the town of Lumberton, the State Board of Elections ordered new election. In the initial election for the City Council seat, incumbent Leon Maynor held a one-vote lead over challenger Laura Sampson after several recounts. The second election also had problems, with Maynor successfully challenging the residency of 20 voters. Ultimately, roughly half of the 850 provisional ballots cast were thrown out for various reasons, and in the final tally Maynor retained his seat by a 20-vote margin.
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For more than a year, the town of Pembroke had no mayor. Challenges stemming from voting irregularities and possible fraud continue long after a disputed November 2015 election and a March 2016 re-do. In the 2015 election, former town councilman Allen Dial won the mayoral post, but following residency challenges by runner-up Greg Cummings, the State Board of Elections ordered a new election be held. Cummings prevailed in that election, but ongoing challenges prevented him from assuming office. In August, four ballots were thrown out for being improperly cast, and Cummings is still ahead in the vote tally. Pembroke's recent electoral history is colorful to say the least, having had to re-do an election in 2014 as well.
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In the 2014 Turkey Creek election, incumbent mayor Heather Cloud was voted out of office by a margin of four votes. It was later revealed that Stanley Leger, a campaign employee for challenger Bert Campbell, had paid $15 each to four mentally impaired individuals in exchange for their promise to vote for Campbell. Cloud challenged the election. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals of Louisiana ordered that the four votes be struck and a new election be held, which Cloud won. Leger later pleaded guilty to illegal electioneering, receiving a suspended six-month jail sentence and 18 months' probation. He was also ordered to pay a $500 fine and $2,000 in restitution to Mayor Cloud.
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Fernando Gonzalez won a seat on the Perth Amboy City Council by 10 votes in an election where at least 13 illegal absentee ballots were cast. A Superior Court judge subsequently overturned the election results and ordered a new election be held in May 2015 for the seat.
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At least 30 fraudulent votes were cast in the November 2013 elections, prompting the town to re-do the election. As of April 2014, an ongoing investigation into fraudulent activity has revealed votes cast by non-residents and the use of improper ID to verify residency for the election.
Adrian Heath, Sybil Doyle, and Roberta Cook were convicted of voting on a referendum about whether the Woodlands Road Utility District could raise taxes to cover municipal debt, even though none of them were residents in the district. The election results were subsequently overturned. Heath was sentenced to a three-year prison sentence and a fine of $10,000; Cook and Doyle each received three-year prison sentences, five years' probation, and fines of $5,000.
Source: https://herit.ag/3l1pgqJ, https://herit.ag/3x92Tlu
A City Council election (originally decided by four votes) in Vernon, California is overturned when it is determined that five people who voted for the winner were not residents of the city, and two others had not properly mailed in their ballots. A new winner was subsequently named.
Former Lincoln County Commissioner Thomas Ramey pleaded guilty to lying to federal officers in the midst of their investigation of a massive voter fraud conspiracy. Sheriff Jerry Bowman and County Clerk Donald Whitten also pleaded guilty, admitting that they stuffed ballot boxes with fraudulent ballots and falsified absentee ballots in an effort to rig the 2010 Democratic primary. Whitten won the election, but a judge overturned the election after throwing out 300 fraudulent ballots. Ramey was sentenced to 21 months of imprisonment. Bowman was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison, three years of supervised release, and a $5,000 fine. Whitten was sentenced to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release, with a $5,000 fine.
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The Supreme Court of Alabama overturned the mayoral election results for the City of Guntersville, Alabama after finding that absentee ballots cast without proper identification should have been excluded.
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Valerie McGowan pleaded guilty to one felony count of "voting in other precinct" during the ultimately-overturned 2003 East Chicago Mayoral election. McGowan was involved in a massive fraud scheme, and ultimately the results of the election overturned. She initially faced other charges, including fraudulent application for a ballot and perjury, which were dropped as part of her plea agreement. McGowan was sentenced to 18 months of probation.
A 2001 election in Compton turned into a multi-year legal drama as candidates for city council and mayor traded accusations of fraud. In the election, incumbent Mayor Omar Bradley lost to challenger Eric Perrodin by 281 votes, and Leslie Irving (a Perrodin ally) defeated Melanie Andrews for an open city council seat. Bradley sued, alleging fraud, including allegations that Irving illegally registered non-citizens. Superior Court Judge Judith Chirlin overturned the election, returning Bradley to power based on the fact that the city clerk had improperly placed Perrodin's name at the top of the ballot rather than select the order randomly. Chirlin also found that Irving had indeed helped non-citizens to register and vote in the election, and removed Irving from office and replaced her with Andrews. On appeal, Chirlin's ruling was partially overturned. The appellate court acknowledged that Perrodin had benefited from a "primacy effect," but this was insufficient to overturn the election. The appellate court upheld the removal of Irving from office, but held that Judge Chirlin should have ordered a new election rather than simply replace her with Andrews.
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The results of the 1993 mayoral election in Hialeah were voided by a Dade County judge after the discovery of several forged absentee ballots. The judge found that one of the candidates had a 2-to-1 advantage in absentee ballots, which he attributed to "overzealous" campaign workers at an elderly home in addition to several non-residents and mentally incompetent people voting.
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A 1993 special Pennsylvania state senate election was overturned by a federal district court judge due to absentee ballot fraud. This election was important as the senate was evenly divided and the winner would determine which party controlled the senate. Campaign workers for Democratic candidate William Stimson engaged in a massive absentee ballot scheme involving nearly 600 tainted ballots. After a surprising and extraordinary surge in absentee ballots seemed to result in a victory for Stinson, an investigation was undertaken. Stinson was indicted for his role in the scheme but was not convicted. Two campaign workers, Ramon Pratt and Barbara Landers, were convicted of misdemeanor offenses.
In a related civil suit, however, a federal district court judge determined that Stinson and others engaged in a scheme to steal the election, and Stinson was removed from office. The scheme primarily targeted Latino and black voters by using intimidation, and deception in order to fraudulently obtain and process absentee ballots in violation of state law. Two Democratic city commissioners, Margaret Tartaglione and Alexander Talmadge, Jr., and an elections supervisor, Dennis Kelly, were also found to have been complicit in allowing the fraud to occur.
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The Fresno Chapter of the Black American Political Association of California orchestrated a ballot harvesting scheme in order to win 13 seats on various Fresno County school boards. Through a scheme organized by Frank Revis, BAPAC received over 1,300 absentee ballots delivered to addresses provided by BAPAC, not those of the individual voters. Over 250 of those ballots were lost, while the rest were disqualified as containing invalid signatures or otherwise having been illegally cast. The California State Supreme Court overturned the results of the election due to fraud and tampering with absentee ballots.
Three campaign supporters illegally submitted absentee ballots during the 1992 Hardee County sheriff election. Although a grand jury found that no criminal intent was involved, the election was thrown out and a new one was ordered.