A man charged with a felony in 1st District Court for allegedly voting twice in the 2020 presidential election entered into an agreement with prosecutors on Monday that would dismiss the charge after payment of a $50 fine.
During the 22-year-old’s initial appearance on Monday, Cache County prosecutors said it was the man’s understanding — after listening to a statement from the former presidential administration’s press secretary — that he would not be allowed to vote twice if his mail-in ballot had been duly counted. Prosecutors told the court the man submitted his mail-in ballot, then went to the polling station where he was provided an additional ballot. He then “incorrectly assumed” his mail-in ballot had not been counted, and proceeded to vote twice in the election.
“He was trying to be diligent,” said Cache County prosecutor Barbara Lachmar during the arraignment. “I think it was an honest mistake.”
Documents filed with the court indicate once the fine is paid the case would be dismissed.
Judge Brian Cannell agreed to the diversion program and the waiver of jail booking requirements due to the circumstances.
“You get one voice, one vote,” Cannell said.
The third-degree felony count of double-voting was filed against the man late last year.
Prosecutor Aaron Jossie told The Herald Journal that a “handful” of potential voter fraud cases were presented to law enforcement by the Cache County Clerk’s Office for screening. Jossie said the County Clerk’s office was able to identify double voting incidents by the number of signed ballots received under a specific name. Charges were only filed in one case, Jossie said, as the rest were found to be accidental instances of double-voting largely from college students and their parents.
Jossie said this was the first alleged case of double-voting he had seen in Cache County.
“It’s actually very rare,” Jossie said.
According to state law, double-voting defaults to a third-degree felony. A person may be convicted of a class-A misdemeanor if they “aid, assist, counsel, or procure” an individual in committing a double-voting felony.
County Clerk Jess Bradfield did not respond to requests for comment.
Zachary Sol Miller, 22, pleaded not guilty to sexual assault charges on Monday after the judge found probable cause in the case.
Miller is charged in 1st District Court with first-degree forcible sodomy, first-degree object rape and second-degree forcible sexual abuse alleged to have happened in March 2019.
According to documents filed with the court, the alleged victim consumed alcohol and a sleeping pill prior to going to bed on March 1, 2019. She told police she awoke to Miller sexually assaulting her.
During Miller’s preliminary hearing on Monday, Cache County prosecutors presented evidence by way of a statement from the victim and testimony from the investigating officer.
Defense counsel argued for the court to compel the alleged victim to testify during the prelim to provide additional details. Judge Brandon Maynard granted prosecutors’ motion to quash the request for victim testimony on the grounds that it wasn’t reasonably likely to affect probable cause in the case.
Miller is set to appear for a pretrial conference on May 10.
Bradley Drew Sorenson, 55, was ordered to be held without bail during his appearance in 1st District Court on Monday.
Sorenson faces nine counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, one count of second-degree enticing a minor and one count of third-degree dealing in materials harmful to a minor. Prosecutors allege Sorenson exchanged sexually explicit photos and messages with a teenager.
Cache County prosecutor Griffin Hazard told the court Sorenson had served 15 years in an Idaho State Prison for sex offenses and cited the allegations in the case as grounds for Sorenson’s further detention in the Cache County Jail.
Defense attorney Joseph Saxton argued for Sorenson’s release on an ankle monitor with various pretrial release conditions. Sorenson briefly addressed the court, stating he had a job, would have no contact with the alleged victim and had a broken ankle.
Judge Brandon Maynard found there were no alternatives to incarceration that would ensure the safety of the community and the alleged victim.
Sorenson is set to appear for a decision to prelim hearing on March 1.
Payton Rowdee Quire, 18, was set to appear for a preliminary hearing in 1st District Court on March 1.
Quire faces one count of first-degree rape and one count of aggravated assault alleged to have happened in September. Cache County prosecutors allege Quire held the victim down by the neck during an argument and raped her. Quire then allegedly made incriminating statements via social media to the alleged victim.
Quire is currently being held in the Cache County Jail after he remanded himself to custody after posting $10,000 bail.