Two more alleged vote fraud cases sent to prosecutor

Jun 3, 2013

Two more persons suspected of illegal voting in the November 2012 election were referred to the Hamilton County prosecutor Monday morning by the Hamilton County Board of Elections.

Referred to the prosecutor were Lakeisha M. Watkins, a 41-year-old woman who cast a provisional ballot in Colerain precinct  W on election day and then voted in her former precinct, Colerain GG. Board of Elections officials tried to contact the woman and was told that she lives in Boston.

The second case involved 77-year-old Johnathan Hillman, who voted a provisional ballot at the board of elections prior to election day and then cast a second provisional ballot at Cincinnati precinct 25A on election day. He told board investigators he doesn’t know why he voted twice.

Also Monday morning, the Ohio Voter Integrity Project, a tea party backed group, presented the board with the cases of 19 persons who used commercial addresses or the addresses of rental storage units to register to vote. Ohio law requires people registering to vote to use their place of residence on registration forms.

The board staff investigated and found that four of those people had filed change of address forms. The board of elections – two Republicans and two Democrats – voted unanimously to have the board continue its investigation into the other 15 cases.

The wide-ranging investigation into voter irregularities has produced 10 cases so far that have been referred to Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters for possible criminal prosecution. Three of those persons have been convicted so far.

Last week, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted broke a partisan tie on the board over whether to refer another 39 cases to the prosecutor- most of them voters who cast an early absentee ballot and then cast a provisional ballot on election day. Only one of their votes was counted. Husted sided with the Republicans, who wanted the cases sent to the prosecutor for further investigation. The board is in the process of doing that.