Judge wants explanation about poll workers' fraud in Ford election

Judge wants explanation about poll workers' fraud in Ford election

May 22, 2007

MEMPHIS (AP) -- A judge in Memphis says the public should be told why three poll workers were involved in a plot to throw a 2005 state Senate election in favor of Ophelia Ford.

The poll workers pleaded guilty earlier in May and avoided jail time, but they did not explain why they faked at least three votes, two of them cast in the names of dead people.

Shelby County Criminal Court Judge John P. Colton said he considered not accepting the plea deals because their motives were not revealed.

Ford won the special election by 13 votes, but a Senate committee found that ballots were cast by ineligible voters.

The Senate nullified the election results, and Ford later won another election.

She was replacing her brother, John Ford, who resigned after 30 years in the Legislature following his indictment on federal corruption charges.

Ophelia Ford has since filed a lawsuit over the Senate's nullification of the first election.

Prosecutors say they don't have evidence linking Ford or anyone else to the voter fraud plot.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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