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MILWAUKEE – Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that Frank Walton and Maria Miles, both former Special Registration Deputies, were sentenced today on charges of election fraud – falsely procuring voter registration, arising out of the 2008 Presidential Election. Walton and Miles were charged by the Election Fraud Task Force, a collaborative effort between the Wisconsin Department of Justice, the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office and the Milwaukee Police Department
Walton served as a Special Registration Deputy (“SRD”) for the City of Milwaukee in advance of the 2008 Presidential election and was paid by the Community Voters Project. Walton submitted falsified voter registration forms between June 4, 2008, and June 17, 2008. Of the approximately 70 forms submitted by Walton, 54 of the forms contained information that proved to be false.
Miles worked as a SRD for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (“ACORN”). Miles submitted voter registrations applications with forged signatures, submitted registration applications for the same individuals multiple times, and also was part of a scheme in which she and other SRDs registered each other to vote multiple times, all in an effort to meet voter registration quotas imposed by ACORN.
“Nothing is more fundamental in our democracy than the right to vote,” said Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. “Elections are undermined when people engage in unlawful voting or otherwise commit fraud on the elections process. We have an obligation to make certain our election system is fair and legal.”
Walton was sentenced by Judge Thomas Donegan to 52 days in jail, which is a time-served disposition given Walton's pretrial incarceration credit. He was also ordered to pay a $500 fine. Judge Richard Sankovitz ordered Miles to serve one year in jail, but he stayed that sentenced and placed her on probation for two years. As conditions of probation, Miles must serve 90 days in jail and perform 50 hours of community service. Each defendant faced a maximum potential penalty of imprisonment up to 3 ½ years and a $10,000 fine.
Prior to the November 2008 election, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced the creation of the Election Fraud Task Force, a multi-jurisdictional action team that evaluates, investigates and prosecutes complaints of electoral fraud. The Wisconsin Department of Justice and the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office work cooperatively with local law enforcement and the Milwaukee Police Department as needed when investigation is required.
Assistant Attorney General David W. Maas is representing the State.