The hardened criminal you see in the photo above lulls you into a false sense of security via her status as a wife, mother of three and professional physician. Don’t be fooled. She’s a danger to society. In fact, she’s a felon times twelve. No joke. If the South Dakota justice system metes out the full force of the law, innocent South Dakotans will soon be able to sleep peacefully once again – knowing that Dr. Annette Bosworth is behind bars and can no longer threaten them with nominating petition mistakes.
Oh, did I mention that she’s a conservative Republican and a Christian? You know those monsters. They go on about morality and “family values” while exposing their hypocrisy by messing up campaign paperwork. You have to have a lot of nerve going overseas to provide free medical care to poor people when election bureaucrats expect you to be witnessing petition signatures.
And yes, this is really happening. Because of such esoteric mistakes, Bosworth has really been convicted of 12 felonies and is really looking at the possibility – although not the likelihood – of 24 years in prison:
Bosworth said during the trial that she never intended to mislead anyone when she attested to signatures on campaign documents that she didn’t actually witness. She was out of the country on a medical mission trip at the time. Bosworth also has admitted that she didn’t personally gather some signatures, despite attesting on documents that she had witnessed people signing petitions.
Under state law, the person circulating petitions must witness the signings from registered voters.
Although Bosworth argued that the prosecution was politically motivated, her defense largely relied on her argument that she received bad advice from her attorney and political consultant during the 2014 campaign, Joel Arends. Bosworth’s trial lawyer portrayed her as a neophyte candidate who knew much more about medicine than about the political process.
Arends denied the allegation, testifying that Bosworth “absolutely and definitely” knew the proper way to fill out a nominating petition. He called it “a lie” that he had advised her she didn’t need to witness signatures.
“This verdict is very significant in that the jury sends the message that our electoral process is very sacred and the integrity of the process has to be protected,” Deputy Attorney General Robert Mayer told reporters after the verdict.
Politics: Republican legislative candidate in South Dakota faces 24 years in prison for petition signature mistakes | Best of Cain.Testifying in her own defense earlier in the trial, Bosworth said her actions were “careless.”Now look, Bosworth clearly messed this up. She admits that. But it’s just as clear that she didn’t intend to do anything wrong, and she certainly didn’t do anything serious enough for anyone to treat it as a felony. This is a classic case of election officials and prosecutors taking their own inside games just a little too seriously. It’s important that the nominating process be conducted with integrity, and if Bosworth attested to her witnessing of signatures that she didn’t really witness – that’s a serious mistake whether or not it amounted to an intentional deception. It’s probably deserving of a nominal fine – something that I bet could be handled administratively.
“I was doing everything possible to get it right,” Bosworth testified last week. “I felt like I did a very good job trying. Clearly, I’m sitting here because we screwed up.”
Bosworth’s attorneys said she thought she could properly call herself the petitions’ “circulator” because they were circulated under her direction.
Her medical license could be jeopardized. She faces a maximum punishment of 24 years in prison and $48,000 in fines.
Huh. We actually had something similar happen in my town a few years back. We had a city council member who was charged because she “tried to vote twice” and I think she dropped off (didn’t assist) absentee ballots for some residents who were too sick to get to the polls. I can’t remember the entire thing, but I do remember her trying to vote twice. Whatever it was with the ballots, she didn’t realize it was illegal, but it was apparently a felony.
Side note, here’s what happened with the ballots according to the local news:
I am actually friends with the city council member (I have no idea of her political party, but knowing her views as I do, I am going to say she at least leans left, although, as I said, I don’t know what her declared party is or if she is independent. They don’t have to disclose that here for city council). And I was heading in to vote when she was coming out from her “attempt at a second vote.” She came up to me, laughing, because she couldn’t believe she’d forgotten she had submitted an absentee ballot. With everything she had been doing getting ready for election night, she just completely forgot and ran in to vote. Yes, I believe her.Five absentee ballots had to be thrown out after voters told elections officials that —– was the signed witness on their ballots and that she took possession of the ballots after voters filled them out, Poucher said.
It is a felony to even touch a ballot belonging to anyone but a close relative.
Thankfully she was not charged with a felony for the attempt at the second vote.
But the above story makes me wonder. How do people like my friend and Dr. Bosworth not know these laws? Isn’t this something that should be made clear when they go up to officially throw their hat in the ring? Yes, I agree, they should be looking into these laws themselves. But I am thinking that maybe these laws needs to be handed over to anyone trying to run and they should be written in English, not legalese. It seems to me a lot of this was ignorance but also an honest mistake. In the case of my friend, the ballot issue was ignorance, and seeing as how she was running for the third time she should have known that law, so I won’t let her off the hook for that one. But the attempt at the second vote – which is what the media focused on the most and was the only thing they put in their headlines – was an honest mistake. In the case of Dr. Bosworth, I think it was a case of it being a combination of the two. And she’s going to have her life ruined because of it.
And we wonder why we can’t get “average people” to run for office. Aside from you and me not being able to afford to – the mayoral election in my town cost the candidates over $2 million a piece, and this is a ten mile by ten mile town suffering from out of control growth – we don’t know all the laws and can’t translate the lawyer speak.