A Porter Township official has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors to pay a fine and serve three days in jail for filing a falsified ballot during the 2020 presidential election.
Porter Township Trustee Edward D. Snodgrass was charged with illegal voting earlier this year in connection with an absentee ballot he filed during the 2020 November election on behalf of his father. NBC News reported that Snodgrass forged his father’s signature on an absentee ballot mailed to him on Oct. 6, the day after his father died in 2020.
Snodgrass told NBC that it was “an honest error,” and he had power of attorney for his father for years and had already been signing documents on his father’s behalf.
“It was there with a pile of other paperwork,” Snodgrass told NBC News. “I was sleep-deprived and not thinking clearly. But I’m not going to run away from it. … I was simply trying to execute a dying man’s wishes.”
In January, Snodgrass was charged with illegal voting, a fourth-degree felony, in Delaware County Common Pleas Court. David Homer, an assistant prosecutor from the Morrow County Prosecutor’s Office, was appointed as a special prosecutor to handle the case in Delaware County. According to the Ohio Revised Code, Snodgrass could have been sentenced to between six and 18 months in prison for the fourth-degree felony charge of illegal voting.
On May 14, Snodgrass and his attorney, Anthony Heald, reached a plea agreement with prosecutors. According to the plea agreement, Snodgrass will plead guilty in Delaware Municipal Court to a charge of falsification, a first-degree misdemeanor, and will reportedly pay a $500 fine and serve three consecutive days in the Delaware County Jail. The agreement also states that community control sanctions are “unnecessary” after Snodgrass serves his sentence and pays his fine.
NBC reports a plea hearing in municipal court is set for Snodgrass on July 9.
The illegal voting charged in common pleas court was dismissed by Judge David M. Gormley, who wrote that if Snodgrass fails to plead guilty in municipal court, then the felony charge of illegal voting will be reinstated in common pleas court.
Snodgrass will reportedly pay court costs for both the common pleas case and the municipal court case.
Snodgrass could not be reached for comment Wednesday.