Originally charged with 35 counts of “falsely registering people to vote and forging signatures on voter registration forms,” Rebecca A. Hammonds (34) pleaded guilty to 14 counts of voter fraud in a  courtroom in Columbiana County, Ohio, which lies adjacent to the Pennsylvania border. The county is part of the broader Youngstown-Warren metropolitan area in what was a battleground state during the 2016 presidential contest.
 
She was convicted of 13 felony counts of making a false registration, along with one felony count of election falsification. 
 
Hammonds, of East Liverpool OH, was paid to canvass the area by the Ohio Organizing Collaborative, a group affiliated with progressives and labor unions that sought to register voters. Columbiana County Elections Director Adam Booth said that Hammonds’ scheme was uncovered because his office’s precautions include matching up voter information, including first name, middle name and surname.
 
In 2016, Hammonds originally pleaded not guilty. At the time, Booth said “It was fraud. It was dozens of forms where people that were deceased or just forged flat out. They signed their name and it wasn’t even the voter, the wrong date of birth, wrong streets.”
 
Associate Assistant Attorney General Brian Deckert claimed that it was laziness that led to the fraud on Hammond’s part. Deckert said that Hammond was part on an hourly basis rather than a the basis of the number of signatures collected. Judge C. Ashley Pike said at her sentencing, “You attempted to violate the integrity of our election process in the county,” and added, “If 180 days (in the county jail) doesn’t teach you a lesson, nothing will.” Hammond had faced one year in prison for each count. However, she was sentenced on March 6 to six months in prison, reports say.”


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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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