Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted wants the attorney general and the Lawrence County Prosecutor to determine if a group of Democrats attempted voter fraud in the 2010 general election. If so, it could mean prison time and a fine for anyone convicted of these crimes.
On Tuesday Husted turned over to Mike DeWine and J.B. Collier the findings of his investigation into the applications of 119 Lawrence County absentee ballots for further review and possible prosecution.
“There was an attempt to violate the election law with the attempt to cast and count fraudulent votes,” Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said in an interview with The Tribune on Tuesday. “If we didn’t believe there were irregularities that amounted to a violation of law we would not have referred it to the attorney general and the county prosecutor.”
The next step is for the county prosecutor to do the first review, Collier said.
“If it is appropriate we will pursue criminal charges,” he said.
Violations of these election laws are fourth degree felonies, which carry a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison and $5,000 fine for each conviction.
Sent to boxes
At issue are applications for absentee ballots that were sent to two post office boxes — 42 were sent to a box in the name of Ironton resident Charles Maynard and 77 were sent to a box in the name of Russell Bennett of Chesapeake during the fall of 2010.
“Of the 77 absentee ballot applications marked to be sent to Russ Bennett’s P.O. Box, 68 reportedly were hand-delivered to the Lawrence County Board of Elections office by a man named Butch Singer,” according to the letter sent to Mike DeWine and J.B. Collier.
In October a board of elections employee noticed that the handwriting in the “Send Ballot To” portion of the applications differed from that in the section with the voter’s name. The board then contacted 10 voters to see where they wanted their ballot sent.
“All 10 voters replied that they wanted their ballots mailed to them at their home address, suggesting that the ‘Send Ballot To’ portion of the absentee ballot application was completed after the voters filled in their application form,” Husted’s letter states.
Full Article: Elections chief suspects voter fraud | The Tribune.