Election Fraud Cases
While serving as a deputy circuit clerk, Rhonda Dowdy changed the address of a non-resident to an in-county address so that the individual could vote in a local election in which Dowdy's uncle was a candidate for sheriff. In exchange for manipulating voter records, Dowdy received a pledge that the voter would vote for a particular candidate. Dowdy resigned from her post and pleaded guilty to a criminal information charge.
Mack Charles West, Jr. pleaded guilty to misdemeanor voting out of district of legal domicile in the 2013 mayoral race in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. When West was arrested on January 28, 2015, he was on probation on a felony shoplifting charge. The voting fraud charge violated that probation, and West was booked into jail. On March 12, 2015, in Forrest County Circuit Court, West received a suspended sentence of six months and was fined $200 and ordered to pay $220.84 in court costs.
Mamie Johnson pleaded guilty to voting out of district of legal domicile for the 2013 Hattiesburg mayoral election. Johnson received a suspended sentence of six months and was ordered to pay a $200 fine and $220.84 in court costs.
Alethea Michelle Shaw, Carmon Yvette Anderson, and Joseph Lee Anderson each pleaded guilty to voting out of district of legal domicile. Shaw voted in a general election on June 4, 2013, in Hattiesburg even though her legal residence was outside Hattiesburg city limits. Carmon Yvette Anderson and Joseph Lee Anderson voted in a special election on September 24, 2013. Their legal residence was in Moselle, also outside of Hattiesburg. They each received a suspended sentence of six months, were fined $200, and ordered to pay $220.84 in court costs.
Cobby Williams pleaded guilty to voter fraud charges in connection with misconduct surrounding the 2013 City of Canton elections. Williams went to the home of Pamela Walker with the intent to register her to vote for the election, and insisted that she fill out a registration form even after she informed him that she was a convicted felon and ineligible to vote. Williams then submitted these completed forms to the county clerk's office. Williams was sentenced to a five-year suspended term, during which time he will be on supervised probation.
In 2013, Kimberly Readus, an Executive Committee member of the Canton City Elections, was convicted of stealing a ballot box. She was fined $950, sentenced to 30 days of jail time suspended, and placed on probation.
Terrance Watts, a convicted felon and therefore ineligible to vote, pleaded guilty to two counts of voter fraud for swearing in an affidavit on an absentee ballot that he was eligible to vote in Madison County and for voting in two elections. He was sentenced to two consecutive five-year prison terms.
NAACP official Lessadolla Sowers was convicted on 10 counts of fraudulently casting absentee ballots for voting in the names of 10 people, four of them deceased. She received a five-year sentence for each count, to be served concurrently.
Kenny Ray Bowen and Billy Street both pleaded guilty to two counts of voter fraud in connection with their involvement in a vote-buying scheme surrounding the 2007 Benton County election. They were the last of 16 individuals who either pleaded guilty or were found guilty of voter fraud in an elaborate electioneering operation. Both men were sentenced to five years, with four-and-a-half years suspended, six months to serve under house arrest, and four-and-a-half years under post-release supervision. Bowen and Street were also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine to the Crime Victim's Compensation Fund.
Jasper Buggs, Sr., James Bullock, and Ronnie Wilkerson pleaded guilty to voter fraud charges in connection with their involvement in a vote-buying scheme surrounding the 2007 Benton County election. Buggs pleaded guilty to two counts of voter fraud, Bullock pleaded guilty to five counts of voter fraud, and Wilkerson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit voter fraud. All three men were sentenced to five years, with four years suspended and one year to serve under house arrest on each count, all the counts to run concurrently. They were also sentenced to four years of post-release supervision and were ordered to pay a $1,000 fine to the Crime Victim's Compensation Fund.
Jerry Huck Childers, Cooper Epps, David Massey, Arnold Rooker, Sr., and Stanley Maurice Warren all pleaded guilty to voter fraud charges in connection with their involvement in a vote-buying scheme surrounding the 2007 Benton County election. They were part of ring of 16 individuals who either pleaded guilty or were found guilty of voter fraud in an elaborate electioneering operation.
Benton County supervisor Tate King was convicted of committing voter fraud after he paid people to vote for him in the 2007 primary and runoff elections. Eleven others who were also under investigation in connection with this matter have also either pleaded guilty or been convicted. He was sentenced to one year in prison, two years on house arrest, and two years of supervised release, in addition to a $5,000 fine. Norton received three years' supervised probation, and Massey received one year of house arrest and two years of supervised release.
Larry "Tip" Massey pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit voter fraud in connection with his involvement in a 2007 Benton County election vote-buying scheme. He was sentenced to five years in prison, although three of those years were suspended. He will serve two years in prison and another two under supervised probation.
James Lester Thompson of Madison County, Mississippi pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor offense of voting by an unqualified person. He was sentenced to perform 100 hours of community service and six months' unsupervised probation.
Clint Moffitt, candidate for Benton County Sheriff, and Ada Tucker were convicted of conspiracy to commit voter fraud in the 2007 primary and runoff elections. Tucker was sentenced to five years, with the first year in prison, second year under house arrest, and three years under supervised release. Moffitt received two years in prison, one under house arrest, and two years of supervised release. Both were ordered to pay $5,000 in fines.