A 70-year-old Montgomery County woman has pleaded guilty to voting fraudulently in the 2012 presidential elections.
Linda Earlette Wells, of Winding Creek Place in Germantown, was formally charged in July. On Wednesday, Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Paul Weinstein sentenced her to probation before judgement.
According to a statement of facts that Wells agreed to when pleading guilty, she was not registered to vote in Maryland at the time of the election.
Wells was actually registered to vote in Florida, according to the statement of facts.
Wells’ mother, Beatrice Moore Wells, had been registered in Montgomery County before she died in June 2011.
According to the statement of facts, Wells, impersonating her mother, called the Montgomery County Board of Elections and said that she wasn’t actually dead and wanted to vote.
A staff member at the Board of Elections told her to cast a provisional ballot, and changed her voting status from “cancelled due to death” to “active,” according to the statement of facts.
But just days later, on Nov. 8, Wells called the Board of Elections and told them she took her mother’s ID to the polls and voted fraudulently.
“Just rip it up,” she told a staffer at Board of Elections staffer, according to court records.
The staffer told her that ripping up her ballot was not possible, according to the records.
Calls to Wells and Deborah Levi, her public defender, were not answered Thursday evening.
The Maryland Office of the State Prosecutor does not typically comment on the cases it prosecutes. In a statement regarding the guilty plea, State Prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt said the integrity of the ballot box and the voting process was “essential” to a democratic society.
“We cannot and will not tolerate attempts to subvert this process,” he said in the statement.