Voter fraud suspect changes plea; County Clerk speaks out

Dubois woman Harley Laverna Lee Wells entered a plea agreement yesterday afternoon. She had initially entered a not guilty plea to three voting-related crimes. Yesterday, the state agreed to file an amended charge of a misdemeanor offense of Interfering with the Orderly Conduct of an Election. Wells pleaded no contest to this charge. This charge is punishable by up to 60 days in jail, 6 months of unsupervised probation, and a fine of up to $500 which is suspended upon the successful completion of probation. Judge Young noted that the time Wells has already served in jail will go towards the 60 day jail sentencing. According to the affidavit filed in the case, upon reviewing Wells’s voter registration information, Fremont County Clerk Julie Freese alerted investigators to potential fraud. The investigator obtained the defendant’s criminal history and discovered that “she has used numerous alias names, several different social security numbers and two different dates of birth, and had at least four felony convictions in the state of Nevada,” the affidavit states. Convicted felons lose the right to vote, and according to the criminal records obtained, Wells did not have her civil rights restored. Freese spoke during the plea agreement and cited rumors that she was being accused of reporting this fraud because Wells was dating her soon to be ex-brother-in-law. Freese assured the court that this was not the case, and gave examples of previous voter fraud cases she'd reported prior to this incident. "This could not be further from the truth," Freese said. "I take my job very seriously and I reported this not because of who you are, but because I was doing my job. It's not my job to investigate crimes, but it is my job to report the information." Voting records indicate that Wells voted both in the 2014 primary and general elections. #county10 #news