LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — A woman from Lancaster has been charged with voter fraud after completing a mail-in voter ballot for her deceased mother.
According to a release from the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office, 60-year-old Cheryl Mihaliak faces charges of forgery, as well as forgery of a ballot for illegally submitting a ballot for her deceased mother during the May 2022 Pennsylvania Democratic Primary.
Get daily news, weather, breaking news, and alerts straight to your inbox! Sign up for the abc27 newsletters here
Police say Mihalik requested both her and her mother’s ballots on March 17 and the mail-in ballot from Mihaliak’s mother was signed and dated April 26, 2022. However, information from the obituary as well as records from the Department of Health confirmed that Mihaliak’s mother died on April 14, 2022, and she was removed from the voter rolls on April 25.
The discrepancy was noticed by the chief clerk of the Lancaster County Board of Elections and Registration Commission Christa Miller, who relayed the information to detectives on April 28. Detectives spoke with Mihaliak on May 5 who stated that she voted for her mother and signed the ballot after her mother died.
She also said that she knew who her mother would vote for and decided to cast her vote posthumously.
“This office will strictly enforce our election laws when presented with evidence of fraud,” Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams said. “Strict enforcement is intended to deter future conduct and necessary to protect the integrity of our elections, which are an integral part of a functioning democracy.”
Both charges are misdemeanors of the first and second degree and are punishable by a maximum of five years and two years respectively, as well as fines totaling $15,000. If convicted of these counts, Mihaliak will not be able to vote for a term of four years from the date of the conviction.