Woman Sentenced On Election-fraud Indictment In Connection With The 2009 Election

Posted on 9/9/2011

Defendant: Deshara McKinney

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien announced that this week Deshara M. McKinney, age 24, pled guilty to two (F-5) counts of Election Fraud and one (M-1) count of Failure to Appear for falsifying applications for absentee ballots in connection with the 2009 General Election. McKinney was extradited from Washtenaw, Michigan last month and pled guilty September 6, 2011 before Judge Serrott at a scheduled bond hearing.

In October 2009, McKinney worked as a canvasser with FieldWorks, a vendor for Ohio Jobs and Growth that was promoting passage of the casino issue. She was hired to approach registered voters in Franklin County to fill out an application for an absentee voter ballot, which would be sent to the Franklin County Board of Elections, who in return would send a ballot to the voter. Through an investigation initiated by the Franklin County Board of Elections and assisted by the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office, it was found that McKinney falsified applications and forged the names of two registered voters in Franklin County on absentee ballot applications. She failed to appear for a court date, a warrant was issued, and she was only recently arrested in Michigan.  In the interim she was charged with the Failure to Appear while on bond.

McKinney was sentenced to one year on each felony count, to run consecutively, but the judge suspended the sentence and put McKinney on two years community control. She must complete forty hours of community service, pay court costs, and pay the cost for extraditing her to Franklin County from Michigan. On the misdemeanor Failure to Appear count, the judge ordered her time served due to McKinney’s 25 days of jail time credit. O’Brien said, “This is the tenth election fraud case prosecuted by this office in the last several election cycles.”