published on August 16, 2022 - 2:37 PM
Written by Gabriel Dillard

A San Diego woman was sentenced to two years of felony probation in Madera County Superior Court after pleading guilty to voting on behalf of her dead mother.

Elizabeth Gale forged the signature of her recently deceased mother on a Madera County ballot for the 2021 Gubernatorial Recall Election, as well as claimed to have witnessed her mother signing the ballot, according to Madera County Registrar of Voters Rebecca Martinez.

“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,” stated Martinez.

Martinez issued ballots for the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom in August 2021 for the Sept. 14 election. Within days, her office was notified that Gale’s mother had died earlier in the year, making the ballot non-voteable.

On Sept. 10, 2021, the ballot was mailed back to the county with what was determined to be an invalid signature.

Martinez notified Madera County District Attorney Sally Moreno of the suspected criminal act and an investigation was initiated.  After an investigation, Gale was charged with felony violations of the California Elections Code. 

Gale eventually pled guilty to a felony charge and was sentenced to two years of felony probation. The terms of her sentence required Gale to be booked into Madera County Jail, then released and report to a probation officer. She’s also required to maintain gainful employment, not change her address or travel outside the state without prior consent, pay court fines and fees, submit to search and seizure and not own or possess a firearm, according to a news release.

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

 “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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