ELKINS, W.Va. (WBOY) — A former Randolph County man has pleaded guilty to illegally voting in the 2020 election, the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office announced on Wednesday.
Jon Cooper voted twice in the 2020 General Election—once in West Virginia and once in New Mexico, according to a press release.
Cooper is the second person to plead guilty to illegally voting in the 2020 election, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.
His request for deferred adjudication—meaning there would have been no conviction—was denied by a judge, and Cooper was ordered to pay a $500 fine.
In 2022, the West Virginia legislature passed legislation making illegal voting a felony in the state, though Cooper’s crime was only a misdemeanor.
Secretary of State Mac Warner said election security is one of his top priorities.
“I have been dedicated to uncovering and prosecuting election fraud since taking office in 2017. If anyone attempts to cheat in a West Virginia election or commit voter fraud in any way, we will catch you,” Secretary Warner said in the release. “West Virginia uses state-of-the-art technology and the best-trained elections staff in the country to make sure that our elections are secure.”
Earlier this month, Warner attended the 2023 West Virginia County Clerks Elections Conference in Canaan Valley and warned against the possibility that artificial intelligence and deep fake technology could be used to spread misinformation that could affect the outcome of an election.
Warner is one of many candidates in the Republican primary election to replace Gov. Jim Justice, who can not run again due to term limits.
Voter fraud can be reported by phone at (877) FRAUD-WV or by texting “WV” to 45995.