An Eau Claire woman accused of election fraud for voting in the November 2016 presidential election while she was a convicted felon will avoid a new criminal conviction.
Jamie L. Sammons, 37, 608 Plum St., pleaded no contest Friday in Eau Claire County Court to an amended county ordinance violation of disorderly conduct.
Sammons was fined $206.
Sammons was previously charged with a felony count of election fraud — providing false information to an election official.
According to court records:
Donna Austad, Eau Claire’s former longtime city clerk, reported that Sammons appeared at the city’s 4th Ward voting site Nov. 8, 2016, completed and signed a voter registration form, and provided an Eau Claire County real estate tax bill as proof of residence.
The voter registration form Sammons signed states, “I hereby certify … I am not currently serving a sentence including incarceration, parole, probation or extended supervision for a felony conviction, and not otherwise disqualified from voting.”
While entering data from the Election Day voter registration forms, the city election office received information via the state voter registration program that Sammons was a convicted felon, and the state Elections Commission was contacted.
The commission verified with the state Department of Corrections that Sammons was a convicted felon still under DOC supervision until June 18, 2017.
Sammons was convicted in Sauk County for possession of narcotic drugs, second and subsequent offense, and operating with a restricted controlled substance on June 18, 2015. Her sentence included 50 days in jail and two years of probation.
In Wisconsin, a person with an ongoing felony sentence loses the right to vote until he or she completes the sentence and is discharged from supervision by the DOC.
State statutes contain several measures to ensure that persons who have lost their voting rights do not cast ballots, and if they do vote, that they are identified and prosecuted, according to the Elections Commission website.
In addition, statutes require the commission to conduct an audit after each election to determine whether any ineligible felons registered on Election Day or within 20 days before an election and cast a ballot illegally, the website states.
If an audit determines that an individual with an ongoing felony sentence may have voted, statutes require the Elections Commission to notify the district attorney in the county where the vote occurred.