The front page for the 2016 election integrity recount campaign of the Green Party provides an interesting fact:

Details You Need to Know

In 2004, the Cobb/LaMarche campaign demanded a recount in Ohio. Because of their efforts, an election administrator went to jail.

Yet the page lacks any links providing further details, such as:

  • Who exactly went to jail?

  • On what charges?

  • assuming the charges were election-related, how common is it nationally for officials or administrators to be convicted, (and jailed for it)?

  • For how long were they jailed?

  • If released, can they quietly return to the same line of work?


According to the series of articles linked to by @BillCrosby, the names of the officials convicted and sent to prison are Jacquenline Maiden and Kathleen Dreamer. A third, Rosie Grier, was acquitted of all charges. The two convicted were each convicted of one felony count of negligent misconduct and a misdemeanor count of failure of elections employees to perform their duty. They were acquitted of five other charges.

Prosecutors accused Maiden and Dreamer of secretly reviewing preselected ballots before a public recount on Dec. 16, 2004. They worked behind closed doors for three days to pick ballots they knew would not cause discrepancies when checked by hand, prosecutors said.


Special prosecutor Kevin Baxter did not claim the workers' actions affected the outcome of the election - Kerry gained 17 votes and Bush lost six in the county's recount.

According to here, they were both sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2007.

A judge sentenced two Cuyahoga County elections workers Tuesday to 18 months in prison for their roles in a countywide ballot recount after the divisive 2004 presidential election.

According to here, if you want to become an election official, the conditions include that you must not have been convicted of a felony, so I think that means that these two individuals can no longer serve on an election board in Cuyahoga County. I would imagine most other counties would have similar restrictions in place.


The two workers were evidently granted a new trial by a different judge later in 2007, and in November of that year wound up accepting a plea deal that allowed them to serve probation without actually admitting to any wrongdoing. However, I believe that, since their plea to the charges was "No Contest," this may be enough to prevent them from working on the election board again, though I am not a lawyer and it's not really clear that this is true after their 6-month probation sentence was completed.

  • Good answer, but it's still not clear if the guilty parties ever were actually jailed... that is, it's clear they were both sentenced, but doubt remains if either of them subsequently lived behind bars for months at a time, nor is it obvious whether the duration was the full 18 months, or fewer. The James F. McCarty article leaves it uncertain: "Judge Peter Corrigan allowed them to remain free pending results of their appeals."
    – agc
    Nov 28 '16 at 16:49
  • @agc You are correct, I did some more sleuthing and found out they did not actually serve any jail time, but rather wound up accepting a plea deal that included probation. Answer has been updated to reflect this. Nov 28 '16 at 17:06
  • 2
    So, to be clear - they were not accused or found guilty of trying to skew the results. They were convicted of trying to avoid the work of an actual recount by cherry-picking a "sample." My recollection is that, before a general physical recount is done, a (supposed to be) random sample is taken, and if that sample shows little to no variance to the overall tally, they decide there isn't cause to count all the ballots. Nov 28 '16 at 17:16
  • 1
    I so far can see three possibilities: 1.The GP page is incorrect, nobody was jailed. 2.Some other offical did go to jail. 3. "went to jail" meant only that during some time prior to Judge Saffold's lenient non-finding, the accused pair had to wait around somewhere in a building that served as a jail for others who were convicted of crimes.
    – agc
    Nov 29 '16 at 4:54
  • 1
    @agc How long is sufficient? Even if they never served a day after they were sentenced (which to the best of my knowledge it is possible that they did), they may have spent a night or two when they were arrested. I have no clue if either of those are true or not, but either one could be enough to validate the claim even if not in its true spirit. Nov 29 '16 at 12:42


A quick Google search turned this up with names and length of sentence. Felony 18 months.

  • 8
    Link-only answers are discouraged at StackExchange due to "link rot"; the answer will become useless as soon as the linked article is moved or removed. Consider adding essential parts from the linked article straight into your answer.
    – bytebuster
    Nov 27 '16 at 1:59
  • 2
    @bytebuster, ditto, this answer is at present unsatisfactory. The linked articles don't answer the question point-by-point, and the format wastefully obliges readers to individually hunt through the article for whatever points it does fill in.
    – agc
    Nov 27 '16 at 7:03

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