Pre-Trial In Voter Case Continued Until December 5Oct 12th, 2012 | By Jacob | Category: Front Page
Pre-trial hearings for five people charged with voter fraud in the election of Abra “Tina” Johnson to Madison County School Board, District 1, have been continued until Dec. 5.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement began investigating a complaint about potential voter fraud after the Department of State’s Division of Elections contacted FDLE. In the complaint, it pointed out that the election had a “extraordinarily disproportionate amount of absentee votes.”
According to the FDLE, “the investigation revealed that Johnson and her husband, Ernest Sinclair Johnson, Jr., approached voters and obtained their agreement to vote, after which the voters were asked to sign an “Absentee Ballot Request Form.” Without the voters’ knowledge or consent, an alternate address was handwritten on the form, causing the ballots to be mailed to a third party rather than directly to the registered voters. In 2010, Florida law required ballots to be sent to a voter’s registered address unless the voter was absent from the county, hospitalized, or temporarily unable to occupy their residence. The Johnsons retrieved the ballots from the third party locations, brought the ballots to the voter, waited for the person to vote, and then returned the ballots to the Supervisor of Elections. In some instances, the voters were only presented with the absentee ballot signature envelope to sign and never received the actual ballot to cast their vote.
“The Johnsons also secured the assistance of several other individuals to unlawfully obtain absentee ballots directly from the Supervisor of Elections. Despite written notice of penalties of perjury, these individuals signed and submitted an ‘Affidavit to Obtain Absentee Ballot,’ claiming to have been authorized by voter to obtain their absentee ballot. These individuals, however, were unknown to the voters.”
Tina Johnson was charged with 10 counts of fraud in connection with casting a vote and her husband, Sinclair Earnest Johnson, Jr., was charged with 11 counts of fraud in connection with casting votes, one count of corruptly influencing voting and one count of perjury by false written declaration.
Tina Johnson had been scheduled for trial to begin Oct. 1, but the trial has been continued until February 2013.
Jada Woods Williams was charged with 17 counts of neglect of duty and corrupt practices for allowing the distribution of the absentee ballots. Her hearing has been changed to Tallahassee.
Others who will enter pre-trial motions will be:
Judy Ann Crumitie, charged with four counts of fraud in connection with casting a vote, and one count of providing a false report to law enforcement authorities
Laverne V. Haynes, charged with two counts of fraud in connection with casting a vote, two counts of perjury by false written declaration, and one count of providing a false report to law enforcement authorities
Raven Simona Williams, charged with two counts of fraud in connection with casting a vote, two counts of perjury by false written declaration, and one count of providing a false report to law enforcement authorities
Shalonda Michaelle Brinson, charged with nine counts of fraud in connection with casting a vote, and one count of provided a false report to law enforcement authorities.
The charges against Jada Woods Williams are misdemeanors. The charges of voter fraud against the others are felonies.