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Three charged with voting illegally

by Tom Hasslinger
| December 10, 2010 8:00 PM

COEUR d'ALENE - Three people who illegally cast ballots in the 2009 Coeur d'Alene general election are being charged with one count of illegal registration by a voter.

Kootenai County resident Nancy E. White, 55, and Hayden couple Ronald E. Prior and Susan R. Harris each face up six months in jail or $500 in fines should they be convicted of the misdemeanor offenses.

The charges, filed Oct. 27, stem from the contested 2009 general election, which spent nearly a year in the courtroom on grounds that inadmissible ballots had been cast in the race between City Council seat 2 challenger Jim Brannon and incumbent Mike Kennedy.

Kennedy won the election by five votes, and the victory was upheld in a September court ruling. During the trial, however, the total was trimmed to three votes.

White's was one of the ballots 1st District Judge Charles Hosack declared illegal during the trial, tossing out her vote for Kennedy.

White had listed a Coeur d'Alene address on Military Drive as her residence at the time of the election while residing on Ridge Line outside city limits. She had owned the Military Drive home, but sold it 10 months before the 2009 election, court documents state.

"Ms. White is a Realtor in the state of Idaho and it is reasonable she should be knowledgeable of residency rules, transfer of ownership and the city limit boundaries," a court filing by the Kootenai County Prosecutor's Office states.

White works at Windermere Realty in Post Falls. She did not return messages left by The Press and her attorney, Mark Jackson, wasn't available for comment Thursday. White has pleaded not guilty and her trial is set for March 14.

Harris, 63, and Prior, 66, were also declared illegal voters by Hosack during the trial. They listed their commercial property at 4915 N. Industrial Way (since re-addressed as 4931 N. Manufacturing Way) in the Coeur d'Alene Industrial Park as their residence when they voted. The couple has lived in Hayden for around 20 years, and told investigators leading up to the election challenge that they use their commercial address because they owned it.

The couple could not recall for whom they voted, and their votes could not be tossed out, Hosack ruled.

The court file for Harris and Prior was sealed, and a trial date had not been scheduled. The couple could not be reached for comment.

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