Barry Morphew, a Colorado man who was previously charged with the murder of his still-missing wife has pleaded guilty to casting a presidential ballot under her name for Donald Trump in the 2020 general election.
Morphew admitted to filling out the mail-in ballot for his wife, Suzanne Morphew, "because I wanted Trump to win." He said he did so because he "figured all these other guys are cheating," referring to the Democrats.
Morphew has pleaded guilty to forgery and was sentenced to one year of supervised probation. His lawyer toldThe New York Times that he "believed that because he could sign legal documents for [his wife], that the ballot, similarly, was under his authority."
Suzanne Morphew has been missing since she failed to return from a bike ride in May 2020. Her body has not been found.
Her husband was charged with first-degree murder last year but charges were ultimately dropped after a judge ruled that prosecutors had violated discovery rules, the formal process of exchanging information between the parties about the witnesses and evidence they intend to present at trial.
The district attorney will have the opportunity to refile charges against Morphew because the case against him was dismissed without prejudice.
The news that Morphew had cast his wife's missing ballot quickly circulated on social media and many condemned his actions.
Although voting twice in the same election is illegal, that did not stop former President Trump, who has long asserted that the 2020 general election was stolen, from advocating for it.
Trump generated controversy ahead of the election when he urged North Carolinians to vote twice on Election Day, saying:
"Let them send it in and let them go vote, and if their system's as good as they say it is, then obviously they won't be able to vote. If it isn't tabulated, they'll be able to vote. That's the way it is and that's what they should do."
The following day, Trump attacked the process of mail-in voting (which research shows greatly increases voter turnout) and suggested people send in their ballots as soon as possible, go to their polling places when early voting became available to see if their vote has been counted, and then vote in person if their vote had not been tabulated.
No polling place works this way.
In many states, the process of counting votes does not begin until polling places are officially closed on Election Day. Many states also have an online system that allows voters to check the status of their mail-in ballot and see if it's been received.
There is no reason whatsoever to go to a polling place and vote again if you've already voted.
There is no evidence that the 2020 general election was stolen and Trump's statements often ran counter to the findings of federal agencies.
In fact, a statement from the Trump administration's own Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), part of a joint statement from the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Executive Committees, affirmed the agencies found "no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised."