UPDATE: Ex-Mayor Pleads Guilty to Buying Votes With Pork Rinds

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In another update of a past story, the AP reports that the former mayor of Appalachia, Virginia, pleaded guilty yesterday to a number of felonies relating to an election-rigging scheme in the 2004 election.  Ben Cooper and his co-conspirators were alleged to have intercepted and forged absentee ballots, and to have attempted to buy votes with cigarettes, beer and pork rinds, in order to be put in charge of Appalachia, a town of 2,000. Once elected, the gang allegedly appointed a police chief who stole from residents so that they could all share in the profits.

Actually, these aren’t just allegations now because Cooper has pleaded guilty, as I said, to a number of felonies. That number: 243. And the judge made Cooper plead guilty individually to each of the 243 charges. By the time she got to number 11, Cooper was saying "guilty" before the judge had even finished reading the charge.

"You’re getting ahead of me," said Judge McElyea. Cooper apologized, and presumably waited for her to finish reading each of the next 232 felony charges.

Seven others have been convicted already.  Cooper will be sentenced January 9 and could get up to 21 months in prison under state guidelines, which apparently impose a sentence of 2.6 days per felony.

Link: AP via FindLaw.com