A man who pleaded guilty to stealing ballots from a polling station he was working at in San Francisco’s Crocker Amazon neighborhood last November was set to be released next week but will stay in jail a little while longer after a bizarre sentencing hearing Thursday.
Karl Bradfield Nicholas, 51, had pleaded guilty to stealing the ballots, a voter roster, and a memory box and access key to a voting machine from the station on Knott Court where he was working as a poll worker supervisor on Election Day, Nov. 2, 2010. Nicholas was arrested early the next day and the ballots were later found in the lagoon at the Palace of Fine Arts, prosecutors said.
Nicholas was set to be sentenced in San Francisco Superior Court Thursday morning to a year in county jail as part of a plea deal agreed upon in December, but with credit for time served, he would be released on Tuesday.
At Thursday’s hearing, Nicholas was in the process of being sentenced when he said he did not understand an issue with his restitution, which requires him to reveal to prosecutors the location of the memory box and key, which were not found with the ballots at the lagoon.
Assistant District Attorney Marc Katz, who was prosecuting the case, said, “It’s important to the Department of Elections to find out where they are.” Judge Susan Breall echoed that sentiment, saying, “Any time you’re tampering with an election, that’s serious business, sir.”