A Republican candidate for running in Montana’s state House District 75 primary has been charged with voter fraud, according to the Monitor Online, after election officials say he altered his signature on a ballot envelope, a move he says was purposefully done to test the accuracy and integrity of the system.
While dropping off his signature at the Jefferson County High School Board in early May, candidate Timothy D. McKenrick chatted up an election official about some of the language of the ballot, noting that when it says that failing to complete the signature information on the ballot ‘may’ invalidate a ballot, it really should read ‘shall.’
This conversation and mannerisms piqued the interest of the official and he glanced down to note the signature, later comparing it to a sample on file and discovering the two are completely different.
According to the affidavit, he summoned back McKendrick two days later and McKendrick admitted to the bit of mischief, telling officials he had “intentionally altered his signature to appear more closely to that he used when he was younger” so that he could “make sure the election workers were checking signatures.”
He would later add that he was doing this in order to “test the system” even at the expense of his vote, ostensibly to check for ingress and opportunities for voter fraud.
If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, though the reality is that it’s like to only get a small fine for the first-time offense.