Montgomery and Frederick women charged with voter fraud -- Gazette.Net


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A Montgomery County woman and a Frederick County woman have each been charged with voter fraud stemming from the 2012 presidential elections.

On July 25, a Montgomery County grand jury charged Linda Earlette Wells, 69, with impersonating a voter to register in the name of the voter; attempting to vote under a false name; and impersonating another person in an attempt to vote.

She could face up to 15 years in prison and fines of up to $6,000, according to a statement released Tuesday by the Maryland State Prosecutor’s Office announcing the indictments.

Wells, of Germantown, called the Montgomery County Board of Elections the day before the presidential election and impersonated her dead mother, Beatrice Wells, according to the indictment against her, which said that her mother died in June 2011.

Based on that call, the Montgomery County Board of Elections re-activated Wells’ voter registration, which had been listed as inactive because of her death, according to the indictment.

Then, Wells cast a provisional ballot as Beatrice Wells, according to the indictment. That ballot — the vote she allegedly cast impersonating her mother — was not counted, the statement announcing the indictment noted.

In a release announcing the charges, State Prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt said, “the most basic principle of a fair election is the concept ‘one person, one vote’. The integrity of the ballot box and voting process is essential to our democratic society. We cannot and will not tolerate attempts to subvert this vitally important process.”

A phone number for Wells’ home could not be found.

On July 30, the Maryland State Prosecutor’s Office announced that a Frederick County grand jury had indicted Elsie Virginia Schildt, 46, with impersonating another person in an attempt to vote; attempting to vote under a false name; and attempting to vote more than once in the same election. That indictment was filed July 26, online court records show. The State Prosecutor’s Office investigates corruption, election and political crimes across Maryland.

Each charge is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $2,500.

Before the election, Schildt requested and received absentee ballots for herself and her mother, according to the indictment.

Schildt mailed in her ballot in October 2012. Her mother, who was living when she requested the ballot, had died in September. In early November, Schildt filled out her mother’s ballot and sent it in, according to the indictment.

The fraudulent ballot was not counted, according to the statment.

Reached via phone at her job at a custom bike shop in Frederick, Schildt did not seem aware of the charges. However, after being informed of them, she said, “I have no further comment,” and hung up.

sjbsmith@gazette.net