CANTON, Miss. (AP) — A former police chief is among six people indicted on accusations that they tried to influence a 2017 election in a central Mississippi city by improperly helping people fill out absentee ballots and voting despite being disqualified, prosecutors said Thursday.
Among those in the city of Canton who were indicted are alderwoman and former police chief Vickie McNeil and city employee and school board member Courtney Rainey.
Additional indictments are expected, Assistant Madison County District Attorney Bryan Buckley told the Madison County Journal .
It's unclear whether any of those charged have lawyers to speak for them.
Buckley said the investigation came after "voluminous" complaints from residents of Canton, which has a population of about 13,000.
Voter fraud carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
The 38-year-old Rainey, the city's director of human and cultural needs, was indicted on 10 counts of voter fraud, two counts of conspiring to commit voter fraud, two counts of voting by an unqualified person and one count of intimidating a witness.
The indictments allege Rainey paid five people for their votes, twice voted illegally in Canton elections although she no longer lived there, worked with another person to commit voter fraud and then tried to get one of the people she paid off to change the story they had given to investigators.
McNeill, 68, is indicted on four counts of voter fraud, alleging she illegally helped people cast absentee ballots when she was running for re-election. She was Canton's police chief from 2009 until 2013.
Desmand King, a deputy Canton city clerk, was indicted on two counts of voter fraud. He is accused of illegally helping someone vote in the Ward 7 alderman's race even though the voter no longer lived in that ward.
Donnell Robinson is indicted on two counts of voter fraud and two counts of voting by an unqualified person. He is accused of twice casting an absentee ballot in 2017 even though he was disqualified because of a 1995 conviction for receiving stolen property.
Jennifer Robinson is indicted on one count of voter fraud and one count of voting by an unqualified person for voting in the Ward 7 election even though she no longer lived there.
Sherman Matlock, 44, was indicted on counts of voter fraud and voting by an unqualified person on charges that he cast an absentee ballot even though he was disqualified because of a manslaughter conviction.