Charleston, W.Va. – A Kanawha County woman was recently sentenced for voter registration fraud after quick action taken by the Kanawha County Clerk’s Office and by the West Virginia Secretary of State's Office.
According to Secretary of State Mac Warner, election officials flagged a suspicious online voter registration change of address request made for an individual that died in 2020. The Kanawha County Clerk initially declined the registration pending further investigation into the registration of a deceased individual.
"The West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office and our county clerks take any attempt to defraud our voter registration system very seriously," Warner said. "Quick action by Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick’s Office and the coordinated effort by my office, Randall Sampson of the Attorney General’s Office, and the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office led to a quick conviction."
Coordination with Detective B.S. Middleton of the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office connected a broader fraud scheme. "The suspicious activity originally reported to the West Virginia Secretary of State, combined with the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office investigation of a separate fraud case, resulted in Durham’s subsequent arrest in October. Durham was charged with five felonies including one count of computer fraud in the attempt to unlawfully register to vote and four counts involving check fraud," said Secretary Warner.
On November 10th, Durham reached a plea agreement with the Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. According to the agreement, Durham pled no contest to one charge of petit larceny and one charge of unlawful voter registration. She received a 30-day sentence, which was suspended for 6 months of probation.
"If you attempt to defraud our voter registration system or process, we will catch you and we will prosecute you," Warner said.
“Our office is proud to have played a role in this successful prosecution,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Voter fraud erodes citizens' confidence in election integrity. This is why we will investigate any alleged violation of law when there is evidence of wrong doing.”
The case against Elizabeth Durham makes the sixth election fraud case led by Warner's office that led to a conviction.