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MILWAUKEE – Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that two individuals charged with election fraud arising out of the November 4, 2008, Presidential Election waived their preliminary hearings and were bound over for trial. David Lewis and Ramon Martinez were both 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.
Both Lewis and Martinez are charged with one count of Voting by a Disqualified Person. Lewis is also charged with one count of Providing False Information to Election Officials. Both of these crimes are felonies. The complaint against Lewis alleges that he registered to vote at the polls on November 4, 2008, thereby certifying that he was a qualified elector. It also alleges that he then cast a ballot. At that time, Lewis was on an active period of probation for felony convictions in Milwaukee County. A separate complaint alleges that Martinez cast a ballot at the polls on November 4, 2008. At that time, Martinez was also on an active period of probation for felony convictions in Milwaukee County.
A felon on an active period of supervision for a felony offense is prohibited by state law from voting in any election.
Each individual charge carries a potential penalty of imprisonment up to 3 ½ years and a $10,000 fine. Both defendants entered not guilty pleas to all charges. Scheduling conferences have been set for August 24, 2010, at 8:30 a.m.
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.
A criminal complaint is a document accusing a person of a violation of criminal law. A defendant enjoys a presumption of innocence. The prosecution must prove its allegations at trial beyond a reasonable doubt.
Assistant Attorney General David W. Maas is representing the State.