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Putnam: Felon cast ballot in city election

JENNA-LEY HARRISON
Staff Writer

A woman with a felony record illegally voted in Lincoln County this month, Board of Elections officials said.
According to BOE Director Bradley Putnam, the individual, a registered Democrat, cast a ballot on Oct. 23.
The woman has not been charged with a crime at this time.
Because Putnam said he audits each voter’s personal information daily, including address and date of birth, he noticed a change in the woman’s information the same day she voted.
He noted that elections officials verified with the woman the accuracy of her information before she voted, to which she pointed out a wrong birthdate had been listed.
While Putman, former chair of the local Republican Party, was only named elections chairman last month, he did not believe anything similar had ever happened in the county’s voting history.
However, he did reveal that the same woman allegedly illegally voted last year, too, without being caught.
On Monday, the BOE sent the woman a letter stating that her right to cast a ballot had been challenged by BOE employee Valerie S. Wilcox.
The letter further revealed the voter had been “adjudged guilty of a felony” and that her “rights of citizenship have not been restored.”
The Board has requested the woman appear for a hearing before them on Nov. 12.
During the hearing, the woman will have the right to contest the allegation, Putnam said.
However, if she does not appear, the letter said, the Board may “sustain the challenge,” resulting in a voided absentee ballot and “possible other negative action.”
Information regarding her criminal history was not available at time of publication.

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