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Saturday, May 25, 2024
Gov & Politics

5 Cases of Voter Fraud in the 2020 election (and 2016) by Trump voters

Donald Trump was right that voter fraud took place in the 2020 election. It just wasn’t Democrats who participated in it.

Fraud and Consequences 

There are 2 aspects to this article. First, the multiple instances of Trump voters committing voter fraud. Second, the consequences handed down for it, and how they compare to the consequences Pamela Moses received. Her detailed story appears after the last fraud case.

We will explore 5 cases of deliberate acts of illegal voting, and one case of a mistake. A mistake that resulted in a 5-year prison sentence.

The disparity is both unbelievable and clearly the result of a criminal justice system created to favor a certain segment of the population (Not Democrats… or voters who cast their ballots for Democratic candidates).

Case 1: Georgia

We begin with illegal voting that was just reported on recently. Brian Pritchard, a Republican official in Georgia, voted illegally 9 times. Pritchard was a vocal election denier who claimed the the 2020 Presidential election was “rigged,” with massive voter fraud on the part of Democrats. 

Pritchard was in court for the fraud charges this past Wednesday.

According to USA Today:

“Administrative Law Judge Lisa Boggs wrote in her Wednesday decision that Pritchard, the Georgia GOP’s first vice chairman, violated state election laws by voting while on probation for forgery and other felonies, and that his explanations were neither “credible or convincing.”

Pritchard must pay a $5,000 fine and $375.14 in investigative costs incurred by the court. Boggs also ordered that Pritchard “be publicly reprimanded for his conduct” by the State Election Board, which sought the sanctions against him.”

Case 2: Ohio

This case was in the news around August of 2023. An Ohio lawyer, James Saunders, illegally voted for Trump twice in the 2020 election, and did it again in the 2022 midterms. His public defender claimed it was an accident, but the judge was not buying it. 

Saunders had also voted multiple times in the 2014 and 2016 elections. Charges were not brought for the earlier instances due to the expiration of the statute of limitations.

From Newsweek:

“Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley told Cleveland.com that Saunders was the only person known to have voted twice in Cuyahoga County for several years.

[After the hearing, Saunders was remanded into custody with a bond set at $20,000.]

“Mr. Saunders is the poster child for voter fraud,” O’Malley said in a statement to NBC affiliate WKYC. “He thought he could outsmart the system, but today’s verdict proves he was wrong.”

“Judge Santoli’s verdict and remanding of this defendant sends a stern message that voter fraud will not be tolerated,” he added.”

James Saunders ended up being convicted of 2 counts of voter fraud for voting twice in the 2020 and 2022 elections, and was sentenced to the maximum 3 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. This particular case was an outlier in terms of the sentence handed down to a Trump voting defendant. Likely due to the fact that he was a repear offender, voting twice in 2014, 2016, 2020, and 2022.

Case 3: Illinois

Audrey Cook, an 88-year-old election judge in Madison County, Illinois, was charged with two felony counts of election fraud after submitting a Trump ballot for her deceased husband. She said that her and her husband had both applied for absentee ballots and they arrived days after he passed away.

“I was just so distraught when this came and I just voted because I knew he wanted to live so badly to see Trump straighten out this stinking mess,” she said tearfully. She was removed as an election judge. 

Audrey was seen in line at an early voting station the Saturday after she was charged. When contacted by a reporter questioning why she was there when she had already voted by absentee ballot, she claimed that she was just “testing the system.”

There was no further information found regarding her sentence, but considering that she was a judg, and 88-years-old, it’s unlikely to have consisted of any time behind bars

Case 4: Iowa

In Iowa, Terri Lynn Rote cast two votes for Trump: one at a satellite voting location and one at the county election office. She was sentenced to 2 years probation and a $750 fine. Rote told police that she submitted two absentee ballots because she believed Trump’s false claims that the 2016 election was rigged and that her first ballot would be changed to vote for Hillary Clinton. She was arrested on October 21 when trying to vote with the second ballot.

Case 5: Texas

In Richmond Texas, Philip Cook falsely claimed to be an employee of Trump’s campaign who needed to test the security of the voting machines on election day, and voted twice. He was arrested shortly afterwards. From CBS Austin: County election officials informed local media that 62-year-old Phillip Cook, of Richmond, voted early last week, and returned to Great Oaks Baptist Church on Tuesday to vote a second time in the Houston-area suburb.

Memphis, Tennessee

Now let’s look at the case of Pamela Moses, a Black woman in Memphis, Tennessee. Moses was charged with election fraud and sentenced to 6 years in prison.

From The Guardian:

”All summer, the outspoken activist had been feuding with election officials in Memphis, Tennessee. She wanted to get her name on the ballot for Memphis’s 2019 mayoral election, even gathering enough signatures to do so. But officials said she could not run – a prior felony conviction made her ineligible to seek office.”

Moses had previously been charged with harassing and stalking a judge, which she denies. She plead guilty in order to avoid a long prison sentence for something she didn’t do. Looking back, she says it was the worst mistake she’s ever made. Why? She lost her right to vote for the rest of her life. In the hearing where her lawyer and the judge made sure she understood the ramifications for pleading guilty, neither one told her about the loss of her right to vote ever again.

Unaware of the lost rights, Moses had been voting in elections from 2015 to 2019, when she received a letter that her voter registration was about to be canceled. She immediately contacted the elections office to find out what she should do. She was told to go through the process of having her voting rights restored.

One of the steps involved in the process was having her probation officer fill out a form stating that she had completed probation. Moses took the required form to the probation office and presented it to the manager on duty, Kristoffer Billington, stating that she had completed probation in 2018. The manager went to the back and checked the computer system for her case. According to the system, she was still on unsupervised probation. Thinking it was just a beaurocratic error in which someone had just forgotten to close out her case, he signed the form stating that she had completed probation in 2018, and returned to the front to hand it over.

Moses had originally thought that her probation ended in 2020, but she had been fighting in the courts to have her sentence completion date set to 2018, so that she could run for mayor in 2019. Confused about the status of her situation, she assumed the probation office would give her a definitive answer. She wasn’t aware that her case file showed her on supervision until 2020, because Billington had gone to the back where he signed off on 2018.

Confusing, right?

Voting rights groups believe these laws are intended to be confusing. More mistakes are made, putting people right back in prison, then probation, without the right to vote once again.

“People who aren’t subject to supervision don’t really understand how fuzzy things like release and supervision dates are. Anybody inside the system or across jurisdictions knows that what’s written on this piece of paper might be very different than that other piece of paper.”

Her story only gets worse. Just 30 minutes after she left the probation office, Billington got a call from the AG’s office, alerting him to the mistake he made on the form. Moses hadn’t completed probation in 2018. Though she’d been fighting for it in court, probation didn’t end until 2020. After she turned the form into the election office, they had quickly caught the mistake.

The signature from Billington had falsely led her to believe that her end date had been changed to 2018, the date she’d been fighting for all along.

From The Guardian:

“In 2015, one of the crimes Moses pleaded guilty to was tampering with evidence, which causes a permanent loss of voting rights in Tennessee. All of the research Billington had done at the probation office was irrelevant. It didn’t matter whether she was on probation or not.

The next morning, Collins, the elections staffer, appeared happy to learn Moses was permanently barred from voting. “LOOK AT HER STATUS!!! PERMANENTLY INELIGIBLE,” she wrote in an email, including a smiley face.

The same day, the elections office also received a letter from the Tennessee department of corrections alerting them to Billington’s error. The letter didn’t say that Moses was to blame or that Billington was deceived.”

None of that mattered.

Pamela Moses was arrested at O’Hare airport upon returning from a trip abroad. She was charged for voting illegally in every election since 2015. Innocent mistakes or confusion are not considered in cases like this. She was sentenced to 5 years in prison.

The story gained national attention after being reported by The New York Times, The Guardian, and then Rachel Maddow spent an entire segment on her MSNBC show talking about Pamela Moses.

Through a public records request, the Guardian obtained the result of an internal investigation from the Tennessee department of corrections looking into why Billington had signed off on Moses’s voting eligibility. The supervisors who had investigated squarely placed the blame on Billington for the error, undercutting the prosecution’s idea that Moses had deceived him into signing off on the form.

From the New York Times:

“A Tennessee prosecutor dropped all criminal charges on Friday against Pamela Moses, a Memphis woman with a previous felony conviction who was sentenced to six years and one day in prison in January after she tried to restore her right to vote in 2019.

The voter fraud conviction from her trial was thrown out in February after a judge ruled that the Tennessee Department of Correction had improperly withheld evidence that was later uncovered by The Guardian. Ms. Moses had been set to appear in court on Monday to find out whether prosecutors would pursue a retrial.

But Ms. Moses will no longer face a second trial “in the interest of judicial economy,” Amy Weirich, the district attorney of Shelby County, said in a statement. Ms. Moses spent 82 days in custody on this case, “which is sufficient,” Ms. Weirich said. Ms. Moses is also permanently barred from registering to vote or voting in Tennessee. Ms. Weirich declined to comment further on the case.”

Hypocrisy

As usual, the Right likes to use projection. Whatever they accuse the Democrats of doing, they have done, or want to do, themselves. There were very few cases of voter fraud in 2020, with the majority of illegal votes being cast for Donald Trump.

Fraud Stats

Voter fraud is rare. There were 103 cases in Texas from 2005 to 2022, out of the 107 million votes cast. This amounts to 0.000096% of all ballots cast — hardly evidence of a fundamentally corrupt system. The Heritage Foundation, the Conservative think tank responsible for Project 2025, keeps track of all fraud cases in the country. There were very few cases in 2020—certainly not enough to change the outcome of an election.

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