Election fraud does not pay, as 30-year-old April Atilano learned last week in Madera County Superior Court.
“Protecting our elections has always been my highest priority, and I will continue to maintain this vigilance as we head into the Presidential Election in November.” — Rebecca Martinez, Madera County Clerk/ Recorder/Registrar
Judge Michael Jerkovich sentenced Atilano to 364 days in the county jail and three years’ probation April 9. She previously pleaded guilty to six counts of election fraud.
According to the Madera County District Attorney’s Office, a private company hired Atilano to register voters. But instead of contacting residents, Atilano changed several residents’ information, including their party affiliations, and forged their signatures on registration forms.
Voter Registrar Quickly Detected the Fraud
Rebecca Martinez, the county voter registrar, uncovered Atilano’s fraud and reported it to law enforcement. Following an investigation, DA Sally Moreno’s office charged her with six felonies.
“Election fraud is a serious crime and I have maintained that Ms. Atilano must serve time behind bars,” Martinez told SierraNewsOnline. “This was a deliberate act and the integrity of our elections was jeopardized by her actions.
“Protecting our elections has always been my highest priority, and I will continue to maintain this vigilance as we head into the Presidential Election in November.”