Marble vote fraud charges settled
Post Independent Staff
Martha and J.D. Roberts of Marble and Tarrant County, Texas, have reached a plea bargain in their voter fraud case from the 2002 Marble town council election, said Marble Town Clerk Karen Mulhall.
They each got a six-month deferred sentence, and a total of $138 in court costs.
Deputy 7th District Attorney Ann Toney said the couple pleaded guilty to voting in the wrong precinct, and the agreement was reached in part because they were first time offenders.
“This wasn’t an unusual offer,” Toney said.
When reached at the couple’s summer home in Marble, Martha Roberts said, “No comment,” and hung up.
The case was set to go to trial in Gunnison on June 6, and the plea bargain was reached on April 29, according to court records.
The district attorney’s office filed the case after the couple cast absentee ballots in the April 2002, Marble municipal election, even though both admitted at the time they were also registered to vote in Tarrant County, Texas.
Last year, Martha Roberts said she and her husband didn’t think it was illegal to vote in both states, because their Marble ballots were cast only for town issues and candidates in the municipal election.
Last year, Martha said the voting irregularities would not have happened had Gunnison County election officials asked them to relinquish their Texas voting cards when they registered to vote in Marble.
Poll watcher Vince Savage protested the Roberts’ votes in 2002, after he caught wind the couple might be registered in two locations.
In the election, 48 of 123 registered Marble voters cast ballots. Incumbent mayor Bob Leone defeated Mike Evans 35-12. Residents also decided 28-19 to eliminate municipal term limits, and 32-16 to sell the old house that served as Town Hall.
Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534
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