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Republican official in Ohio faces charge for voting twice in November election

"I was simply trying to execute a dying man’s wishes," Ed Snodgrass said.

Republican lawmakers in Ohio pushing for more “safety and security” at the ballot box can now point to a clear example of voter fraud in the November 2020 presidential election.

Unfortunately for them, it involves another Republican.

Edward Snodgrass, who is a Porter Township trustee, has admitted to forging his dead father’s signature on an absentee ballot and then voting again as himself, court records and other sources revealed.

Snodgrass was busted after a Delaware County election worker questioned the signature on his father’s ballot. A subsequent investigation revealed the ballot had been mailed to H. Edward Snodgrass on Oct. 6 — a day after the 78-year-old retired businessman died.

In an interview with NBC News, Snodgrass said he made “an honest error” while struggling to take care of his dying father, who had advanced Parkinson’s disease. He said he had power of attorney for several years and because his dad had broken his right arm he’d already been “signing for him.” He said his dad had requested the absentee ballot.

“It was there with a pile of other paperwork,” Snodgrass said. “I was sleep-deprived and not thinking clearly. But I’m not going to run away from it.”

Snodgrass, 57, declined to say who he voted for but said it would not be accurate to characterize what he did as “just Trump voter fraud.”

“I was simply trying to execute a dying man’s wishes,” he said.

The veteran Ohio prosecutor assigned to the Snodgrass case said this was a career first for him.

“I’ve been doing this since the 1980s, and this is the first one I’ve seen like this,” said Morrow County Assistant Prosecutor David Homer, who is also a special prosecutor for Delaware County.

Snodgrass is due back in court July 9 where, according to a plea agreement, he is expected to plead guilty to a reduced charge of falsification and receive a sentence of three days in jail and a $500 fine.

Initially charged with illegal voting, which is a fourth-degree felony, Snodgrass could have faced a prison sentence of six or more months along with a $5,000 fine had he not agreed to a deal.

“It ain’t over till the guy pleads guilty and that’s July the 9th,” Homer said.

Snodgrass, who owns a business in Delaware County, is paid a little less than $9,000 annually to serve as a trustee in Porter Township, which is about 30 miles north of Columbus, records show.

His father's absentee ballot arrived at the local board of elections on Oct. 15, and he cast his own ballot eight days later, according to the records.

Donald Trump, who has refused to concede that he lost the presidential election to Joe Biden and continues to push the lie that there was widespread voter fraud even though there is zero evidence to back that claim up, actually won the state of Ohio in November.

But GOP lawmakers there — as they have in other states — have been pushing “safety and security” bills that Democrats say are aimed at making it harder for their constituents to vote.

In the aftermath of the presidential election, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose released an audit that he said showed a 99.98 percent accuracy rate. NBC News reached out to his spokesman to find out how many allegations of voter fraud have been reported to his office. So far there has been no reply.

Christopher Devine, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Dayton, said it's not likely there are many.

“In fact, what is typical about this crime is that it is so at odds with the typical claims of voter fraud that we hear from Donald Trump and other (usually Republican) politicians,” he said in an email. “The fact is, very few people commit voter fraud and when they do it usually looks like this: one person casting an additional vote through a strange series of circumstances that gave him an opportunity he shouldn’t have taken. And he got caught.”