Montana man convicted of falsifying voter registration
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) – A man from Montana has been given a six-month suspended prison sentence for submitting an application for voter registration under the name Miguel Raton, a rough Spanish translation of Mickey Mouse.
Michael Winters of Gallatin County pleaded guilty on Tuesday to falsifying information about the voter registration application in early 2020, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported.
District Judge Peter Ohman also fined Winters $ 250 and ordered him to do 100 hours of community service.
“It was a serious offense and obviously with everything going on right now with the elections and the integrity of the elections, this is something that is obviously in the foreground,” Ohman said Tuesday. “Based on the involvement of law enforcement and the county prosecutor’s office, what really happened here is that it has shown the system to work.”
Winters, who was initially charged with falsifying public documents or information, admitted to combining his driver’s license number and Mickey Mouse’s birthday to submit a voter registration form in January 2020.
Someone filed a complaint against Winters with the United States Electoral Assistance Commission in June 2020, court records show. This person told investigators that Winters explained how easy it would be to commit voter fraud.
An FBI investigation found that the ballots issued to Miguel Raton were provisional because the driver’s license number belonged to someone who lived in Missoula. Winters said it was not intentional.
Winters received ballots for two elections under the name Miguel Raton. Election officials say he did not vote in any of them.
Winters told an FBI agent he pinned the ballots on his store wall as “trophies.”