Election Fraud Cases
In a civil case filed by the federal government, Ike Brown, former Chairman of the Noxubee County Democratic Executive Committee and Superintendent of Democratic Primary Elections, was found to have violated Section Two of the Voting Rights Act through racially motivated manipulation of ballots. Brown, who started chairing the Commission in 2000, obtained and improperly counted defective absentee ballots, and allowed for improper "assistance" of voters to ensure that white political candidates lost and black candidates won. He was permanently enjoined from engaging in such conduct in the future, and an independent administrator was appointed to ensure compliance.
Elberta Brown, Leon Hunt, and Tobe Jackson pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted bribery in connection with their involvement in a vote-buying scheme surrounding a 2001 special election for Benton County Sheriff. All three engaged in vote-buying by offering $30 to individuals in an attempt to influence them to vote for Steven A. Thompson, a candidate in that election. Three of the individuals who received the money were undercover law enforcement officers. The investigations indicated that they tried to bribe upwards of 50 people on election day. All three faced a maximum sentence of six years in prison and a $3,000 fine.
Courtney Rainey, school board member, director of human and cultural needs in Canton, and 2019 judicial candidate, engaged in numerous illegal acts during the 2017 municipal election. Among others, she bought votes with cash and gift cards, and then attempted to intimidate one of the voters to stimy the criminal case against her. Rainey faced a litany of charges, including voter fraud, conspiracy, and witness intimidation. Rainey was convicted of voter intimidation and acquited of conspiracy, but a jury failed to deliver a verdict on the voter fraud charge, meaning Rainey likely faces another trial. She will be sentenced in September on the intimidation conviction.