New Details on Illegal Voting Case in Montana
New details are now available regarding a story that we first shared on Friday night. According to the Phillips County Attorney in Malta, Montana, several local citizens came forward to report illegal voting in a recent municipal election.
In a news release issued Monday, the Phillips County Attorney's Office notes that the two suspects, who allegedly voted illegally in a recent election, are both citizens of the Philippines in Montana on work visas.
The news release added:
After the Dodson, Montana town election in November 2021, several residents of Dodson notified the Phillips County Clerk and Recorder that Zeta and Albia had voted in the election but were not U.S. citizens. Pursuant to state law, the Clerk and Recorder notified Zeta and Albia in December 2021 that their eligibility has been challenged.
The Phillips County Attorney's Office says that both suspects refused to disclose the names of any person who encouraged them to register to vote in the election.
Here's the full press release:
ORIGINAL STORY FROM FRIDAY FEBRUARY 4TH:
Two Noncitizens Arrested for Illegally Voting in Montana Election
*Note: Story was updated to clarify that the two suspects pled not guilty.
According to the Montana Secretary of State's Office, two noncitizens have been arrested for illegally voting in a Montana election. Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen says the charges stem from a 2021 municipal election in Dodson, Montana.
Here's more from a press release issued late Friday by the SOS office:
According to the Phillips County Sheriff’s Office, two non-citizens were arrested and pled not guilty to charges involving election crimes during the November 2021 municipal election. The Dodson mayoral race in Phillips County was decided by only two votes.
According to my sources in state government, the two noncitizens charged with voting illegally are Grace Albia and Jannet Zeta. As of Friday evening, both were still listed on the Dodson Public Schools website as elementary school teachers.
Phillips County Sheriff Jerry Lytle tells me both have now been charged.
Sheriff Lytle: As of right now, I've issued them citations relating to voter fraud. They both pled not guilty at their initial appearance in Justice Court. Their omnibus hearing is scheduled for February 23.
Phillips County Sheriff Jerry Lytle also confirmed that Albia and Zeta are the defendants.
According to the release from the Secretary of State’s Office, the matter has also been referred to the Montana Attorney General's Office to oversee prosecution. "Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen, who ran her campaign for Montana Secretary of State with an emphasis on the integrity of elections, applauded law enforcement."
Secretary of State Jacobsen: Thank you to the Attorney General and all law enforcement involved for a job well done. This office is repeatedly reminded that voting violations do not exist because voting crimes are not prosecuted. As such, I will work to ensure that election law violations such as this are finally taken seriously and will continue to work to prevent them from happening in the first place.
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