Election Fraud Cases
Janice Howe pleaded guilty to a charge of perjury stemming from Howe's 1999 forgery of petition signatures. At the time, Howe indicated she had witnessed voters sign their names to the petition. Though she was formally charged in 2002, she was not arrested until 2015. She received a suspended four-year prison sentence and was given four years of probation.
Clayton Walker, a former U.S. Senate candidate, pleaded guilty to one count of offering a false or forged instrument for filing and one count of perjury, both of which are Class 6 felonies. Walker submitted 3,374 signatures on a nominating petition to gain placement on the ballot as an Independent; half of those signatures were subsequently determined to be invalid. After pleading guilty, Walker received two concurrent two-year sentences, with both suspended pending good behavior. Walker was also sentenced to 200 hours of community service with two years of probation and was required to receive a mental health evaluation.
Craig Guymon, of Mitchell, voted twice in a school board election--once in person and once by absentee ballot. He was convicted of voter fraud and sentenced to 30 days' imprisonment. He was later granted a suspension with a one-year probationary period with the chance to clear the felony from his record.
Rudolph Vargas pleaded guilty to voting more than once during the 2004 fall election.
Annette Bosworth, a doctor in Sioux Falls, challenged former Governor Mike Rounds for one of South Dakota's U.S. Senate seats in the 2014 Republican primary. She lost, but upon review of her petition, officials discovered that six of the petitions she submitted to the Secretary of State's office contained discrepancies. Bosworth was out of the country on a medical-aid mission trip in the Philippines when her campaign manager, Mike Davis, collected the signatures and filed them on her behalf. However, South Dakota law requires candidates to personally witness each signature on the circulating petition. Additionally, when she signed off on each of the six petitions, she verified that she had personally witnessed the signatures. She was originally charged with six counts of felony perjury, but the charges were later reduced and she was found guilty of offering false or forged instruments for filing. Bosworth was sentenced to 500 hours of community service and parole.