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Southern California woman sentenced for voter fraud

The Madera County Registrar of Voters announced that last month, Elizabeth Gale, a resident of San Diego, pleaded guilty to committing voter fraud in the 2021 California Gubernatorial Recall Election.

“Ms. Gale made the unfortunate mistake of believing that, though her mother had recently passed, she could get away with voting her ballot, forging her signature, and claiming to have witnessed her mother signing the ballot,” said Rebecca Martinez, the Madera County Registrar of Voters. “Fortunately for the people of Madera County, we have safeguards in place to detect these types of illegal activities, so Ms. Gale’s poor decision was discovered, and she was prosecuted.”

In August of 2021, the Registrar issued ballots to all Madera County voters for the September 14, 2021, Statewide Gubernatorial Election. Within just a few days the Registrar’s office was notified that the Defendant’s mother had passed away earlier in the year. The deceased voter’s ballot was immediately voided, making it non-voteable. On September 10, the deceased voter’s ballot was mailed back to the Registrar’s Office with what was determined to be an invalid signature of the voter.

Martinez notified Madera County District Attorney Sally Moreno of the suspected criminal act and an investigation was initiated. After a thorough investigation the deceased voter’s daughter was charged with felony violations of the California Elections Code.

The defendant, Ms. Gale, eventually pled guilty to a felony charge. As a result of her plea, a Madera County Superior Court judge sentenced Gale to two years of felony probation. The terms of her sentence require that Gale be booked into the Madera County jail and released, that she report to a probation officer, that she maintain gainful employment, not change her addresses or travel outside of California without prior consent, pay court fines and fees, submit to search and seizure and may not own or possess a firearm.

District Attorney Sally Moreno said, “It is always a pleasure to work with a professional like Rebecca Martinez. Processes put in place by her for her office easily detected this fraud, which was stopped before the vote was counted.”

“I take the responsibility of protecting our elections seriously,” Martinez said. “Madera County elections are fair, transparent, and accurate. Ms. Gale attempted to cheat us all and I refuse to allow anyone to do that.”

“I appreciate the diligent efforts of my staff who discovered the attempted fraud, the District Attorney’s Investigations Bureau that tracked down Gale in Southern California, and the Deputy District Attorneys who ensured that she was held accountable, and justice was served,” Martinez said.

“This should serve as a reminder to those who think they can compromise democracy,” explained Martinez and Moreno in a joint statement. “You will not get away with it. Not on our watch.”

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