Melowese Richardson lives in Cincinnati and is a poll worker in Ohio, according to Fox News. Earlier this month, Richardson told a television station that she voted twice in the November election. She submitted an absentee ballot and also voted at the polls.
“Yes, I voted twice,” Richardson told WCPO-TV. “I, after registering thousands of people, certainly wanted my vote to count, so I voted. I voted at the polls.”
She is now being investigated for possibly voting in the names of four other people, which would be a total of six total votes.
“I’ll fight it for Mr. Obama and for Mr. Obama’s right to sit as president of the United States,” Richardson vowed.
In the most recent election, the Hamilton County Board of Elections is investigating 19 people for illegal voting.
“I’m outraged, and every voter, regardless of their political affiliation, should be outraged,” said Hamilton County Board of Elections member Alex Triantafilou, who is also chairman of the county Republican Party. “It causes folks to have real doubts about the fabric of our very democratic process, and it’s dangerous. It is disconcerting that someone would be so bold as to admit their conduct in such a fashion … We fully intend to prosecute these cases.”
Richardson said she voted via absentee and then voted in person because she wanted to be sure her vote counted. She also admitted to voting in her granddaughter’s name and in the name of another person.
“There was absolutely no intent on my part to commit any voter fraud,” she insisted.
“It appears she not only attempted to vote more than once, but was actually successful at it and having those additional votes counted,” Ohio Secretary of State John Husted, who is in charge of the state’s elections, told Fox News.
“She appears to have used her position as a poll worker to cover her tracks. That would be someone who is an official in the elections process, using that position to commit a fraud. That is especially troubling to me, as the chief elections officer of the state, because it is my responsibility to make sure the system runs effectively, that it has integrity. When I find issues like this, I know that it undermines voter confidence in our elections, and we must pursue it.”
On November 1, the Board of Elections received three other absentee ballots from Richardson’s address. They were in the name of three separate people. Officials said that the handwriting on all of the ballots is similar.
“It is so fundamental to people’s faith in the democratic process, that we need to act very strong to make sure that we are doing everything we can to keep people’s faith,” declared Triantafilou. “There is always the concern, though, that there are those situations where we didn’t catch folks.”
Husted also said, “Once the election is over, and once the winner is declared, everybody forgets about it. I want to make sure that we don’t forget about it, that we make sure we do, essentially, an audit of that process to ensure that we know what happened, and then use that evidence to guide us going forward. … We need to learn from that last election so that we can be better before the next one gets here.”
“Fraud does happen,” noted Husted. “Most attempts are caught by the system. But there are cases that do slip through, as this one does, and we need to make sure that we really send a strong message, that if you do this, you are going to be held accountable. It might mean fines, it might mean jail time.”