We really need to get a handle on voter fraud in the USA!
Formal charges have been filed against the 63-year-old Clarkston man accused of forging his deceased wife’s name on a ballot in the recent election.
Donald R. Woodward is facing one felony count of second-degree perjury, according to documents filed this week in Asotin County Superior Court. A date for his first court appearance has not been set.
The potential voter-fraud incident was discovered during canvassing in November. Auditor Darla McKay was scanning election envelopes to verify signatures when Carissa Woodward’s name appeared with a notification that her voter registration had been canceled, according to a statement from the auditor that was filed in court.
Carissa Woodward died Oct. 22, the day ballots appeared in mailboxes, according to court documents. However, the ballot mailed to her was signed Oct. 19.
If the ballot had been picked up from the auditor’s office early, it would have had a white label, McKay wrote. Instead, the ballot features mail printing from the postal office in Tacoma.
Donald Woodward reportedly told McKay that his wife had voted before her death, according to court documents. When McKay asked about the incongruous date of his wife’s signature and alleged that the signature on the ballot did not match his wife’s signature, Woodward reportedly said he signed her envelope using power of attorney.
Power of attorney does not extend to voting in Washington. McKay reportedly informed Woodward of the statute, according to her written statement, and noted there was no indication on his wife’s ballot that the signature was by power of attorney.
Second-degree perjury is a class C felony. If convicted, the maximum penalty is five years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
The charge against Woodward is the second such allegation of voter fraud in Asotin County. Christopher P. Billups, 62, of Lapwai was charged earlier this month with one felony count of voter fraud after allegedly attempting to vote in both Idaho and Washington. His first court appearance has been set for Jan. 9.
Both allegations surfaced after the Nov. 8 general election. Officials have said there have been no previous reports of voter fraud in Asotin County.