Convictions Piling up as Next Election Nears
MacIver News Service
[Milwaukee, Wisc...] Two felons in Milwaukee, who are prohibited by state law from voting, admitted that they committed election fraud in the last Presidential Election.
David Lewis and Ramon Martinez, who were charged with election fraud arising out of the November 4, 2008, Presidential Election, entered guilty pleas Tuesday wherein they admitted they voted illegally while on an active period of felony supervision. A felon on an active period of supervision for a felony offense is prohibited by state law from voting in any election.
“The right to vote is the most fundamental of all political freedoms. But it isn’t simply the right to vote that protects our democracy; it is the right to vote in fair elections, untainted by election fraud,” said Wisconsin Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen. “Make no mistake, the dilution of one’s lawful vote through the unlawful casting of ballots is a dilution of the most fundamental of our political freedoms.”
Both Lewis and Martinez were convicted of one count of Voting by a Disqualified Person. At the time of the election, Lewis and Martinez were both on active periods of probation for felony convictions in Milwaukee County.
Lewis was also charged with one count of Providing False Information to Election Officials; however, that count was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
By pleading guilty, Lewis admitted that he registered to vote at the polls in November of 2008 and then cast a ballot. Martinez admitted to also casting a ballot at the polls on November 4, 2008.
Each individual charge carries a potential penalty of imprisonment up to 3 ½ years and a $10,000 fine. Sentencing for both is scheduled for November 9, 2010, at 1:30 p.m.
In July, Van Hollen announced the launch of a joint Elections Integrity Task Force Efforts with District Attorneys in eleven of Wisconsin’s largest counties.