Louisiana Democrats Get Prison Time for Vote-Buying Scheme

Two officials each received one year in prison.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Two Democrat Louisiana officials were sentenced to a year in prison on Wednesday for their part in orchestrating a vote-buying scheme.
  • Former Democratic Amite City, Louisiana police chief Jerry Trabona and City Councilman Kristian Hart were sentenced to one year in prison.
  • The pair were found to have violated federal election law when it was discovered that they were hiring individuals to identify voters who could be paid to vote in a requested manner.
  • By giving out sample ballots with the desired candidate’s name and number, Hart and Trabona were successful in buying votes in the 2016 and 2020 open primary and general elections.
HOW THEY GOT AWAY WITH THE SCHEME:
  • Trabona made the vote-buyers sign agreements promising not to “make any overture of any kind to any voter or other person of financial award or benefit in exchange for a vote,” in an effort to bury his tracks and hide the scam.
  • To ensure the vote-buying scheme was getting a return on investment, Hart and Trabona required that the vote buyers provide a list of the voters paid and the buyers would be given up to $20 per vote.
BACKGROUND:
  • Questions about potential voter fraud have plagued the last several elections, including the recent 2022 midterms.
  • In Colorado, the Secretary of State’s Office ordered a mandatory recount of results for Colorado Congressional District 3 between incumbent GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert and Democrat Adam Frisch.
  • “The results of the District 3 race reinforce the fact that every vote matters,” Secretary of State Jena Griswold said in a statement. “Colorado voters have made their voices heard, and I am ordering this recount in accordance with Colorado law to confirm the will of the voters.”