Three staff members for Vote Today Ohio, an independent get-out-the-vote organization supporting Barack Obama, pleaded guilty in Franklin County this afternoon to improper voting.
The three came to Ohio from states where Obama was likely to win in an effort to swing Ohio's electoral college vote toward their candidate, Judge Charles A. Schneider said. The judge gave all three 60 days in jail but suspended it if they paid a $1,000 fine. He also ordered a year's probation.
The three are Daniel Hausman, 32, and Amy Little, 50, both of New York, and Yolanda Hippensteele, 30, of California. They told the court they had good intentions when they registered to vote and cast ballots the same day in early voting at Veterans Memorial.
"I was paying rent and living full-time in Ohio," Hippensteele told the judge, "I didn't attempt to vote in another state. ... I think it's all a misunderstanding. I have a profound respect for the voting process."
Assistant Prosecutor Brian Simms said the three later tried to rescind their registration and cancel their votes; two were successful. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien had warned visiting campaign staff members that they shouldn't vote here if they didn't plan to stay after the election.
Schneider told the three that "rescinding your request is like giving back the money once you've been caught."
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
3 voting advocates guilty