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Man Pleads Not Guilty in Voting Fraud Case

Ventura County | IN BRIEF / MOORPARK

January 24, 2002|From Times Staff Reports

A businessman has pleaded not guilty to 11 felonies stemming from alleged voter fraud during the 2000 presidential elections, officials said.

Thomas Ruder, 45, owner of Arc 'N' Spark Electric, was arraigned on four counts of fraudulent voting and fraudulent absentee voting and seven counts of perjury for allegedly placing false signatures on voting records. He is free on bail.

During a routine audit, elections officials found that Ruder had cast absentee ballots in the name of Austin Cassidy in the 2000 primary and general elections, said Tom Temple, a deputy district attorney.

On elections paperwork, Ruder's date of birth and address were the same as those listed for Cassidy, Temple said.

Using his real name, Ruder registered as a Republican and voted in both elections. "Cassidy" was registered as a Democrat.

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