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Charges Filed in ND Voter Fraud Case - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Bison Players Charged In Voter Fraud Case

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Prosecutors Friday morning officially charged 15 people with fraud for allegedly forging signatures on petitions for two North Dakota ballot initiatives.

Among those facing charges, 10 current and 3 former North Dakota State University football players.

The Class A misdemeanor crime of signing a name other than that person's own to an initiative, referendum, recall or any other election petition carries a maximum penalty of 1 year and jail, a $2,000 fine, or both.

Cass County State's Attorney Birch Burdick says the 15 are scheduled for their first court appearance October 2.

Allegations of faked signatures forced North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger to disqualify two initiatives from the ballot. The initiatives sought to set up a conservation fund financed by oil taxes and to legalize marijuana use for pain relief.

Those charged in the case include Lucas Albers, Aireal Boyd, William J. Brown, Don Carter, Joshua Colville, Joshua R. Gatlin, Demetrius Gray, Jennifer M. Krahn, Darren McNorton Jr., Samuel O. Ojuri, Brendin Pierre, Antonio Rodgers, Bryan Shepherd, Charles Smith III, and Marcus Williams.

Albers, Boyd, Colville, Gray, Ojuri, Pierre, Rodgers, Shepherd, Smith, and Williams are all current members of the Bison football team.

Carter, Gatlin, and McNorton former Bison football players.

News of the case first broke Tuesday morning.  Head football coach Craig Bohl has said the players will remain on the team and will be allowed to play.  Bohl says any decisions about discipline will be made after they go through the legal process.

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