Elkins, W. Va. – WV Secretary of State Mac Warner is pleased to announce another prosecution for voter fraud in West Virginia. Jon Cooper, a former Randolph County resident, has pled guilty to illegal voting in the 2020 election.
According to Secretary Warner, Cooper illegally voted twice in the 2020 General Election — once in West Virginia, and again in New Mexico. The case was handled by Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Parker, and the investigation was conducted by Investigator Elise Guice of the Attorney General’s Office at the direction of the Secretary of State’s Investigation Division Director Kimberly Mason.
Cooper's guilty plea is the second to come this year for illegal voting in the 2020 election. According to Warner, Cooper's conviction serves as a deterrent to those who would consider committing similar criminal acts in the upcoming election of 2024.
"I have been dedicated to uncovering and prosecuting election fraud since taking office in 2017. If anyone attempts to cheat in a West Virginia election or commit voter fraud in any way, we will catch you," said Secretary Warner. "West Virginia uses state-of-the-art technology and the best-trained elections staff in the country to make sure that our elections are secure."
Underscoring the importance of election integrity, Randolph County Circuit Court Judge David Wilmoth denied Cooper's request for deferred adjudication and ordered Cooper to pay a $500 fine.
“We must always be vigilant in guarding the integrity of our elections,” Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said. “Elections are key to a well-functioning democracy. Let this be a lesson to those who are contemplating on cheating: you will be found and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
In response to our state's checkered past of illegal election activities, the West Virginia legislature passed legislation in 2022 that changed the misdemeanor punishment for illegal voting to a felony crime. While the penalty was still a misdemeanor at the time of Cooper's crime, the state has since reaffirmed its commitment to taking illegal voting more seriously than ever in our history.
To report a possible election violation or voter fraud, call toll-free at (877) FRAUD-WV or text "WV" to 45995 to complete a mobile complaint form from our office.
You can learn more about the election process in West Virginia by going to the WV Secretary of State's secure website at GoVoteWV.com.