Thirty-four year-old Rebecca Hammonds was charged with 14 counts of false registration in Ohio’s Columbiana County following incidents that took place between September and October of 2015.
Earlier in the week, after submitting a guilty plea, Hammonds was sentenced to six months in the county jail.
Working for the Ohio Organizing Collaborative, the liberal-slanted organization paid Hammonds to canvass the area in support of the county’s elections. The OOC issued the voter registrations gathered by Hammonds to the county election board, when the group noticed oversights within the registration applications. After the county found the names of five deceased persons listed among the forged applications, the Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office was alerted to the fraud.
Ohio’s Attorney General’s Office was eventually brought in to handle Hammond’s impending legal troubles, as she was originally charged with 35 counts of false registration and forgery. Associate Assistant Attorney General Brian Deckert sought one year in jail, though the plea settled cut his intended sentence in half.
Deckert said the OOC did not create “a situation where [Hammonds] had a quota system. “I think it just may have come down to human laziness.” Citing fear she would lose her hourly wage, public defender Jennifer Gorby said Hammonds displayed “a lack of judgment on her part”.
Hammond’s first motion sought probation, and at first, Deckert obliged. Nonetheless, Judge C. Ashley Pike intended on Hammond serving time in jail as a means to fit the crime.
“I just can’t overlook this,” Pike said. “You attempted to violate the integrity of our election process in the county. If 180 days [in jail] doesn’t teach you a lesson, nothing will.”
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