Benton County, MS supervisor found guilty of voter fraud

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JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI (BNO NEWS) – A Benton County, Mississippi supervisor on Thursday was found guilty of committing voter fraud, prosecutors announced.

Tate King was found guilty of one count of voter fraud. He will be sentenced on October 8. King faces a maximum penalty of five years of imprisonment and a fine up to $5,000. He was indicted along 15 other co-conspirators.


King was arrested as part of an investigation on vote buying conducted by the Attorney General’s Public Integrity division. The case stemmed from the August 7, 2007 primary election and the August 27, 2007 runoff elections in Benton County.

So far, two people have been convicted, nine others have pleaded guilty and five defendants are awaiting trial for their involvement in the voter fraud case. Former schools Superintendent Ronny Wilkerson is among those charged.

According to the investigation, King paid people to vote for him on two separate elections. The defendants got involved in a scheme where they paid $40 and a case of beer to as little as $10 per vote to get people to vote for certain candidates.

The five individuals that are awaiting trial are Kenny Ray Bowen, Billy Street, James Bullock, Ronnie Wilkerson and Jasper Buggs. The five co-conspirators were charged with voter fraud offenses.

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