Calling her a common criminal who abused her authority as a poll worker by violating the principle of “one person, one vote,” a judge sent Melowese Richardson to prison Wednesday for five years following her illegal voting conviction.
“This is not a little thing. It’s
not a minor thing. This is what our country’s based on – free
elections,” Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Ruehlman
In a case watched around the country, Richardson
was a Hamilton County poll worker from 1998 until her arrest earlier
this year when she was charged with eight counts of illegal voting. In
May, she accepted a plea deal and was convicted of four counts in
exchange for the other four being dismissed.
She was convicted of
voting twice in the 2012 election and voting three times – in 2008, 2011
and 2012 – for her sister, Montez Richardson, who has been in a coma
Richardson told the judge she was bothered that Amy
Searcy, the Board of Elections director, had criticized her moments
before the sentencing. Richardson, 58, of Madisonville, said for years
she helped register Democrats to vote but now was being persecuted
despite her decades as a poll worker.
think the board has shown me nothing but total disrespect for the 30
years I’ve served them,” she told the judge. “I believe in the system
and I’ve done nothing to harm the system or cause disgrace to President