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Election fraud charges alleged
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
A Martinsville and a Richmond resident were indicted Monday by a Martinsville grand jury in connection with Newt Gingrich’s failed 2011 effort to be on the Republican presidential primary ballot in Virginia.
Adam Dustin Ward, 28, 35 Fairlane Drive, Martinsville, was indicted on 11 counts each election fraud, perjury and uttering (passing) a forged document in connection with Dec. 12-19, 2011, incidents, according to court records.
Also, Traci Manning Foley, 43, 7109 Staples Mill Road, Richmond, was indicted on five counts each perjury, election fraud and uttering a forged public document in connection with Dec. 19, 2011, incidents, court records state.
According to an indictment, two people allegedly witnessed signatures and addresses on certain Virginia Petition of Qualified Voters for Presidential Primary in which the person signing the petition did not live at the address listed.
An indictment is not an indication of guilt. It is a grand jury’s finding that enough evidence exists to hold a trial.
Prior to the 2011 Virginia presidential primary, Gingrich signed a document stating his campaign had obtained 11,050 signatures, beyond the 10,000 required to be on the primary ballot in Virginia, but when the confirmed petitions were counted, it was closer to 7,500 signatures, according to previous reports.
In June, Ward pleaded guilty in Augusta County Circuit Court to 18 counts of false statement on required form and 18 counts of perjury: falsely swear an oath, according to court records in connection with a Dec. 12, 2011, incident. He is scheduled to be sentenced in that court on Dec. 19, according to online court records.
In the Augusta County incident, Ward was hired by election contractor Stillwater LLC, which was enlisted by the Gingrich campaign to obtain signatures in Virginia, according to previous reports.
The names or addresses on several dozen of the signed petition forms Ward turned in to Augusta County could not be verified by the state Board of Elections, according to previous reports.