Election Fraud Cases
Originally convicted in 2010, Brenda Woods, former Bolivar City Council member, was granted--and lost--a new trial in 2014. Woods drove three ineligible voters (convicted felons) to the polls to vote for her in an election in which she was running for City Council and mayor. Woods received suspended, concurrent two-year terms on each of three counts.
Linda Brewer pleaded guilty to one count of illegal voting, a Class E felony, and was sentenced to one year of supervised probation.
Gayle Lee Copeland, Jr., 54, pleaded guilty to charges including two counts of illegal voting as well as criminal impersonation and food stamp fraud. Copeland received a two-year suspended sentence and supervised probation. Copeland was detected because of new voter ID laws recently passed in Tennessee.
James Norman, of Loudon County, was found guilty of a Class E felony for illegal voting and registration.
Verline Mayo, Gertrude Otteridge, and Mary McClatcher pleaded guilty to felony and misdemeanor voter fraud charges after admitting that, while acting as poll workers, they conspired to cast at least three falsified votes--two of them in the name of deceased voters--as part of a scheme to favor State Senate candidate Ophelia Ford. Ford won the 2005 election by only 13 votes, but the result was thrown out by the Senate citing the fraudulent votes. Mayo received two years' probation, $1,000 in fines and 200 hours of community service. Otteridge and McClatcher were sentenced to one year of probation plus fines and community service.
Vancey Voorhies, a former volunteer poll worker, entered a pre-trial diversion program after being indicted on four charges: Illegal Registration/Voting, False Entries, Violation by an Official, and Official Misconduct. Voorhies completed and submitted a ballot for her cousin, in violation of state law.
Howard Allen pleaded guilty to one count of "False Entries" and was sentenced to two years of probation. During his probation, Allen was barred from participating in election activities without the permission of the court.
Mary Lou Simpson of Manchester was arrested after the 2004 election for attempting to vote in the name of her deceased sister. Ms. Simpson was spotted by a poll worker who recognized that she had already voted earlier in the day. The facts have been confirmed by the district attorney's office which prosecuted the case. The then 63-year-old woman was convicted of a Class E felony which is punishable by up to two years in prison.
Brian "Wormy" Hodge, a reserve deputy with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, conspired with Betty Best to buy votes for Randy White's campaign for sheriff. White narrowly won the race, but was subsequently removed from the post. The pair paid between $20 and $40 per vote. Both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to buy votes, mainly of absentee ballots. Hodge was sentenced to a five-year probation term and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service. The judge waived the associated fine.
Betty Best, of Monroe County, conspired with Brian "Wormy" Hodge to buy votes for Randy White's campaign for Sheriff. White narrowly won the race, but was subsequently removed from the post. The pair paid between $20 and $40 per vote. Both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to buy votes, mainly absentee ballots. Best was sentenced to three years of probation.