A Democratic state legislator from east Arkansas, his father and two campaign workers pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to commit election fraud after federal prosecutors said they bribed absentee voters and destroyed ballots in a special election last year.More details:
Prosecutors said Democratic Rep. Hudson Hallum of Marion, Kent Hallum, Phillip Wayne Carter and Sam Malone acknowledged that they participated in a conspiracy to bribe voters to influence absentee votes in the Arkansas District 54 primary, runoff and general elections in 2011. [Emph. added]
Prosecutors said Hallum and his father, Kent, tasked Carter and Malone with obtaining absentee ballot applications for certain voters and assisting voters in filling out the ballots, "actually completing absentee ballots in some instances without regard to the voter's actual candidate choice."The absentee ballot system is an invitation to fraud. If we are going to have honest elections, voters should, except in cases of genuine absence, show up at a polling place with photo ID in hand.
The ballots were typically placed in unsealed envelopes before being mailed to local election officials.
"If a ballot contained a vote for Hudson Hallum's opponent, it was destroyed," prosecutors said in a bill of information filed with the court.
Prosecutors also accused the four of offering money and food to absentee voters in exchange for their support.
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