CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A man from Burkina Faso, now living in Martinsburg through a green card program, has been charged by investigators with the West Virginia Secretary of State for providing false information on his voter registration application.
Investigators were alerted of the conduct by Berkeley County Clerk John Small. The Clerk’s office informed the man, Isac Dakuyo, that he had illegally registered and voted in the 2016 election. Despite the warning, Dakuyo again tried to register to vote through the Division of Motor Vehicles’ Motor Voter Program in October of 2017. Providing false information in the registration process constitutes perjury and is a felony under state law.
Secretary Warner applauded the efforts of Clerk Small and the West Virginia Secretary of State investigators in bringing the case to court. “Our office works tirelessly to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat. I thank John Small and his office for working dutifully with us on this issue as we hope to deter similar conduct,” said Warner.
“This case illustrates the importance of partnerships at the county and state level, and the cooperation we see every day between our offices,” said Small. “Working together we will make sure our elections are fair and accurate.”
“These matters are serious and will be treated as such. You can look recently to our neighbors in Virginia in which a coin flip for the victor determined the balance of power in the Virginia House of Delegates. Here in West Virginia, if anyone knows of someone who has illegally registered to vote, or who plans to illegally vote this year, please call 1-877-FRAUD-WV,” said Warner.
Secretary Warner urges awareness that West Virginia has no uniform federal or state non-citizen data for screening or maintaining the voter registration list. Information received is accepted by county clerks as accurate and legal upon attestation from the registrant. Recently, Secretary Warner requested that the Department of Homeland Security provide his office with access to citizenship data to improve voter list integrity in West Virginia.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is only an accusation and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
W.Va. Code §3-2-26(a) provides: “A person who willfully provides false information concerning a material matter or thing on an application for registration or change of registration, under oath, affirmation or attestation, shall be deemed guilty of perjury; one who induces or procures another person to do so shall be deemed guilty of subordination of perjury.”
The penalty for perjury is in W.Va. Code §61-5-3 which provides: “A person convicted of perjury or subordination of perjury shall be confined in the penitentiary not less than one nor more than ten years…”