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Marysville woman charged with voting fraud

MARYSVILLE — Marysville resident Janice Waters, 60, was charged by Snohomish County prosecuting attorneys Oct. 5 with committing voting fraud, for voting under an illegal registration in the wrong county several times, forging and voting her son's ballot in last year's general election, and illegally double-voting in that same election by voting ballots assigned to both her son and herself.

Janice Waters' son, James Waters, was registered to vote in Snohomish County and shares his listed address with his mother, but he became ineligible to vote upon conviction for pleading guilty Sept. 5, 2008, to committing third-degree assault domestic violence against his mother. He was notified of his ineligibility to vote when he pled guilty to this felony charge, but the Snohomish County Auditor's Office received a ballot Oct. 25, 2008, that was signed with his name and listed his address.

When Snohomish County Sheriff's Office detectives met with James and Janice Waters April 13-14 of this year, James denied voting on, signing or even seeing the ballot, while Janice denied completing the ballot, wrote a statement that she knew this would be illegal, and suggested that their mail had been misdelivered or stolen. When detectives presented Janice Waters with comparisons of her partial signatures to the signature on the ballot, she agreed that they looked similar but still denied completing the ballot. During a June 4 meeting with Snohomish County Sheriff's Office investigators, Janice Waters again denied completing the Snohomish County ballot, but admitted to voting in Skagit County three times during the eight years that she's lived in Snohomish County.

When Washington State Patrol crime lab forensic scientists subsequently examined the Snohomish County ballot, they compared both James and Janice Waters' signatures to the signature on the ballot, and they concluded that James did not sign the ballot and Janice did.

According to Snohomish County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Joan Cavagnaro, further investigation showed that Janice Waters has been registered to vote in Skagit County since Sept. 9, 2004. Skagit County Auditor's Office records show that Waters voted six times under this registration. She has no known prior convictions.

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