Alleged Election Fraud Case in Valley Pushed Back Again
Justice is delayed, once again, for an alleged case of election fraud in the Shenandoah Valley. A GOP operative accused of dumping voter-registration forms will wait another two months to face a judge. His attorney says the blame falls on the commonwealth.
It's been five months since Colin Patrick Small was fired and arrested for allegedly trashing the paperwork for eight valley voters. The Pennsylvania man has been free on bond ever since, but faces 13 felony and misdemeanor charges.
Small has gone for a preliminary hearing three different times, and all three times it's been postponed. Defense Attorney John Holloran says he's been working since early December on discovery, or getting required documents from prosecutors, but he doesn't think they are stalling.
"I think it's just the ability of the police to interact with the prosecutor's office, and provide discovery in a timely manner. And in this case it hasn't happened," said Holloran.
The defense says that's partly due to the case's notoriety. Small, 23, is accused of tossing a bag with completed voter registration forms into a dumpster outside a Harrisonburg store.
The affected voters, from Rockingham, Augusta and Page counties, did get registered in time to vote last November. Even so, politicians and watchdog groups cried foul since Small worked with a 'get out the vote' contractor for the Virginia Republican Party.
Small's case made national news, and got the attention of the Virginia Board of Elections and the attorney general.
Holloran says his client is not the villain some have made him out to be. "It's huge in his life, the fact that these charges came out. Circumstances, once they're found out completely, I think will benefit him in how he conducted himself," said Holloran.
Holloran says there is no issue here with speedy trial, partly because Small is free on bond, and working another job in Philadelphia. The preliminary hearing is now set for April 2.
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