Ralph Thurman pleaded guilty to illegally voting for Donald Trump in Chester County

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A Chester County man admitted casting an illegal vote on his son’s behalf in the 2020 presidential election and was banned from re-election for four years, prosecutors said Monday.

Ralph Thurman, 72, pleaded guilty to re-voting at a Friday hearing in Chester County Court Judge Jeffrey R. Sommer. As part of the negotiated plea, Thurman was sentenced to three years probation.

Thurman’s attorney Jeffrey Oster described the incident as a mistake made during a hectic and unusual voting process.

“Mr. Thurman protests his innocence and goes on to claim that this entire incident was due to miscommunication at the polling station, where election officials spoke to him in a noisy gym through masks and a thick plexiglass barrier,” said Oster. “Wouldn’t this be exceptional was a controversial election year amid a global pandemic had none of this happened. “

Willitown Township police charged Thurman on November 13, hailing his case as a documented example of electoral fraud in Pennsylvania. Thurman, a registered Republican, cast his own vote on election day without incident but asked an election worker if he could vote on his son’s behalf, according to the affidavit of the probable cause of his arrest.

The poll worker told Thurman it was not possible and the older man left without incident, the affidavit said. Less than an hour later, the same poll worker noticed a man who resembled Thurman, wearing a hat and sunglasses. The voter signed the polling station record as “Kyle Thurman,” a registered Democrat and the son of Ralph Thurman.

When the polling officer found that Thurman in disguise had illegally cast a second vote, he notified the electoral judge, who was trying to speak to Thurman. According to an affidavit, Thurman left the building before the workers could stop him.

Four other Pennsylvania residents were charged with similar crimes related to voting in the 2020 election. Marple Township resident Bruce Bartman pleaded guilty in April of voting by post for Donald Trump on behalf of his dead mother. Lucerne County’s Robert Richard Lynn pleaded guilty to similar charges in August.

Two Bucks County women – Melissa Ann Fisher and Deborah Elaine Dooner – have criminal cases pending, including voting on behalf of their recently deceased mothers.

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