Election Fraud Cases
Brandon Hall was convicted of ten counts of ballot petition fraud stemming from the 2012 election. Chris Houghtaling, who sought to become a candidate for the Ottawa County District Court, hired Hall to acquire the necessary signatures for his candidacy; Houghtaling reportedly did not care whether the signatures were collected legally or illegally, and even assisted in Hall's crime by providing him old 2010 petitions to copy. Hall, realizing he did not collect enough signatures, used a phone book to complete the rest. Hall's friend, Zachary Savage, assisted with the fraud, but prosecutors granted him immunity in exchange for his testimony. Hall appealed his conviction, which was affirmed. He is awaiting sentencing.
Adam Easlick, a resident in Ypsilanti, voted illegally in the 2012 presidential election in Tuscola County after registering at a post office. He was registered at multiple addresses outside of Ypsilanti. Easlick pleaded guilty to the charges and received six months' probation. Interestingly, following the voter fraud charges, in May 2013, after multiple warnings from the secretary of state, Easlick placed an ad on Craigslist seeking an address in Ingham County to obtain a fraudulent driver's license. Between March 2012 and February 2013, Easlick changed his registration among street addresses, post offices or mail-forwarding businesses in Clare, Hillsdale, Tuscola, and Kent counties.
Salim Ahmed pleaded guilty to one felony count of unlawful possession of an absentee ballot. Ahmed was initially charged with 20 counts of improper return of absentee ballots. He and two other men delivered absentee ballots to the city clerk's office from people not related to them or members of their household. Ahmed was fined and ordered to pay court costs.
Armani Asad, an unsuccessful candidate for Hamtramck City Council, pleaded guilty to one count of improper possession of an absentee ballot. Asad initially faced 14 charges related to improper return of absentee ballots. He and two other men illegally delivered absentee ballots to the city clerk's office from people not related to them or members of their household. Asad was fined and ordered to pay court costs.
Russell Mohammed pleaded guilty to one felony count of unlawful possession of an absentee ballot. Mohammed was initially charged with six counts of improper return of absentee ballots. He and two other men were charged with delivering absentee ballots to the city clerk's office from people not related to them or members of their household. Mohammed was fined and ordered to pay court costs.
As if once wasn't enough, in 2014 Reverand Edward Pinkney was convicted again. This time for false certification of petitions in a mayoral recall election. As a habitual offender, based on his three prior convictions, Pinkney was sentenced to serve between two-and-a-half and ten years in prison.
Mohammed Abdur Rahman, of Hamtramck, pleaded guilty to one count of improper possession of an absentee ballot. He initially faced five counts of improper possession of ballots during the 2013 primary election. He was sentenced to probation.
Dilsa Maria Saddler, of Berrien Springs, was convicted of conspiracy to commit election fraud. She registered to vote and voted in the 2008 general election, even though she was ineligible because she is not a U.S. citizen. She was sentenced to 10 days in jail, 100 hours of community service, and $750 in fines and court costs.
Former staff members for U.S. Representative Thaddeus McCotter created fake nominating petitions for his short-lived 2012 presidential campaign. Lorianne O'Brady pleaded no contest to falsely signing a nominating petition, and was sentenced to 20 days in either prison or a work program, as well as paying $2,625. Don Yowchuang pleaded no contest to 10 counts of forgery and six counts of falsely signing a nominating petition as a circulator, and received three years' probation and 200 hours of community service. Paul Seewald pleaded guilty to nine counts of falsely signing a nominating petition, and received 100 hours of community service and three years' probation.
Former Oakland County Democratic Party officials, Jason Bauer and Mike McGuinness, were charged with election fraud for trying to put a fake Tea Party candidate on the ballot in order to dilute the Republican vote. Bauer pleaded no contest and was sentenced to one year probation and $2,600 in fines. McGuinness pleaded no contest to perjury and forgery, and received one year probation, 180 hours of community service, and $1,965 in fines.
Following a jury trial, Reverand Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor was found guilty of possessing other individuals' absentee ballots and buying votes in a 2005 runoff election. At a local soup kitchen, Pinkney would pay $5 to each poor or homeless person who would fill out an absentee ballot.