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Change-of-Government Signature Collector Pleads Guilty

A man who worked as a signature collector for last year’s change-of-government petition drive has pleaded guilty to voter fraud.

William Cockerham pleaded guilty in Arlington Circuit Court yesterday, the Washington Post first reported. He was accused of making false statements on a required form, a form of voter fraud.

As an ex-con, Cockerham was ineligible to sign as a witness on petition forms. Nonetheless, prosecutors say he signed off on forms that he circulated and on forms that other people circulated, which is also prohibited.

At the time, Cockerham was working for a Colorado-based firm called Signature Masters, which had been hired by Arlington’s police and firefighter associations to thousands of gather signatures in order to get a proposal to change Arlington’s form of government on the ballot. So far, the company’s managers have not been accused of criminal wrongdoing.

A second defendant in the change-of-government voter fraud case, Cheryl Simmons, has a trial date set for March 15.

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