March 6, 2012
Former Charlottesville city council candidate James Halfaday pleaded guilty to election fraud in Charlottesville Circuit Court Tuesday morning.
Halfaday unsuccessfully ran for Charlottesville City Council in 2011. He came in last of seven candidates in the Democratic primary.
Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Claude Worrell said in court that Halfaday used a false address on Sunset Avenue in Charlottesville on official election paperwork. He also noted discrepancies on Halfaday's statement of financial interest, but Worrell said Halfaday can amend those numbers with the State Board of Elections.
"You can't just turn a blind eye to it and say, 'well no big deal, he didn't win anyway'. It's important that there be some reliability in the electors' being able to rely upon the filings of candidates," said Worrell.
Election fraud is a felony and carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and a $2,500 fine. Now, as a convicted felon, Halfaday can no longer vote, run for office, possess firearms or carry firearms unless a governor restores his rights.
Halfaday will be back in court for formal sentencing in July.