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Three in Florida, Virginia charged with voter fraud

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One of my personal favorites..




CINCINNATI — Calling her a common criminal who abused her authority as a poll worker, a judge Wednesday sent a Cincinnati woman to prison for five years following her illegal voting conviction.


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In a case watched around the country, Melowese Richardson was a Hamilton County poll worker from 1998 until her arrest earlier this year when she was charged with eight counts of illegal voting. In May, she accepted a plea deal and was convicted of four counts in exchange for the other four being dismissed.


"This is not a little thing. It's not a minor thing. This is what our country's based on — free elections," Judge Robert Ruehlman of Hamilton County Common Pleas Court told Richardson, chastizing her for violating the principle of one person, one vote.

Richardson told the judge she was bothered that Amy Searcy, the Hamilton County Board of Elections director, had criticized her moments before the sentencing. Richardson, 58, said that for years she helped register Democrats to vote but now was being persecuted despite her decades as a poll worker.


"I think the board has shown me nothing but total disrespect for the 30 years I've served them," she told the judge. "I believe in the system and I've done nothing to harm the system or cause disgrace to President Obama."


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The conservative, outspoken judge responded with scathing comments, blasting Richardson for suggesting she was being prosecuted because she was a black Democrat helping a black Democratic presidential candidate.


"It has nothing to do with race. It has nothing to do with politics. It has nothing to do with disrespecting you. You did this to yourself," Ruehlman told her. "You're very selfish, self-centered. I really believe President Obama, if he were asked about this today, he would be appalled. He would not want anybody to cheat to get elected."


Ruehlman noted that two others convicted of illegal voting before Richardson received much lighter sentences but stressed that their cases were different.

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