United States v. Adams, No. 11-5312 (6th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Eight defendants who held positions with Clay County, Kentucky, were charged with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. 1962(d), based on participation in a vote-buying scheme in three election cycles, 2002 to 2007. Candidates pooled money to pay “vote haulers” to deliver voters for a particular slate of candidates. To ensure that they voted for the correct slate, co-conspiring election officers and poll workers reviewed the ballots. When the proper slate was confirmed, the voter got a token or marking and was paid in a location away from the polls. Conspirators retained lists to avoid double payments and to keep track of whose votes could be bought in future elections and used absentee voting and voter-assistance forms to implement the scheme. When electronic voting machines were introduced, conspiring poll workers misinformed voters that they did not need to click “cast ballot” after selecting candidates; poll workers would enter the voting booth after the voter exited and change the electronic ballot to reflect the slate before casting the ballot. The Clay County Board of Elections was alleged to be the racketeering enterprise in the conspiracy. They were convicted after a seven week trial. The Sixth Circuit vacated, based on cumulative errors in evidentiary rulings.