An Ohio woman is headed to jail for six months for voter registration fraud.
The Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office along with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations under the Ohio Attorney General investigated the alleged violations, which occurred during a voter registration drive in the fall of 2015.
“Rebecca A. Hammonds, 34…was originally charged with 35 counts of falsely registering people to vote and forging signatures on voter registration forms. She pleaded guilty in January to 14 of the 35 counts as part of a plea deal,” the Salem News explained.
She originally pleaded not guilty to all charges in June 2016, Youngstown NBC affiliate WFMJ reported at the time.
Dozens of false registrations were apparently in play, including the names submitted as new registrations for five people who were dead, Cleveland.com detailed.
— BigGator5 (@BigGator5) March 10, 2017
In cross-checking the voter registrations with motor vehicle data, the Columbiana County Board of Elections spotted some discrepancies such as handwriting anomalies, incorrect addresses or birthdays, and so forth, alertness which won praise from the sentencing judge.
Hammonds worked as a paid canvasser for a liberal group called the Ohio Organizing Collaborative (OOC) at the time. “Her legal troubles are ironic considering OOC claimed in 2015 that election fraud stymied the Community Bill of Rights initiative, a ballot proposal that would allow communities to ban fracking in their towns. A hand recount eventually found that their proposal failed on its own merits,” The Daily Caller reported.
In court, Hammonds seem to suggest OOC had a quota for registrations that if went unmet would put her and her colleagues jobs at risk, which the public defender attributed to a lack of judgment. OOC denied that contention, however. “The organization said canvassers are asked to get between 10 to 15 people registered per day, and even if they failed to so, it would take multiple times of not meeting that quota to have grounds for termination,” WKBN, Channel 27 in Youngstown, reported.
Watch the clip from WKBN below about the disposition of the voter registration fraud case in a Lisbon, Ohio, courtroom.
The prosecutor from the attorney general’s office suggested in the alternative that it may have been a matter of laziness on the part of an hourly worker who was not paid by the voter registration signature.
At the sentencing hearing, Judge C. Ashley Pike decided that probation, which apparently had been agreed to by the prosecutor and the public defender, was insufficient. “I just can’t overlook this. You attempted to violate the integrity of our election process in the county. You made a mockery of our system … If 180 days (in the county jail) doesn’t teach you a lesson, nothing will,” the judge told the defendant in the voter registration fraud case.
— jack (@jack03676897) March 9, 2017
Under Ohio law, the defendant could have been sentenced to one year behind bars for each count.
Separately, last month, a Texas woman received an eight-year prison sentence after a Fort Worth jury convicted her on two felony charges of voter fraud. The defendant 37, a Mexican citizen and legal U.S. resident who has lived in the U.S. most of her life, will likely face deportation after she completes her jail term. She reportedly voted illegally at least five times in the 2012-2014 time frame.
During the 2016 election season, controversial muckraker James O’Keefe and his Project Veritas group released several videos purporting to establish voter fraud by Democrats. Bernie Sanders supporters alleged voter registration fraud in the Nevada Caucus won in February 2016 by eventual presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
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