Man pleads guilty to voting twice in election
MITCHELL, S.D. -- A Mitchell man pleaded guilty Tuesday to the felony crime of voting twice in an election.
Craig Guymon, 54, originally pleaded not guilty to the charge in July. But in court Tuesday in Mitchell, when Judge Tim Bjorkman asked what Guymon did, Guymon replied, "I voted at the polls in the morning and voted at the auditor's office by absentee ballot in the afternoon."
He was referring to the June 4 Mitchell school board election, in which he was a vocal supporter of the two losing candidates in the four-way race for two seats.
Absentee ballots were allowed until 3 p.m. on Election Day. Poll workers found Guymon's name in the poll book and later discovered his absentee ballot.
Guymon will be sentenced at a later date. Ron Volesky of Huron is representing Guymon and said that, according to a plea agreement, the state agrees not to oppose a request for a suspended imposition of sentence. A suspended imposition would give Guymon the chance to keep the felony off his record if he follows all the terms of his probation.
The maximum penalty for the crime is two years in prison, a $4,000 fine or both.
Guymon adopted a straightforward manner Tuesday in court, saying only "yes, your honor" or "no, your honor" when addressed by the judge. When asked if he was entering a guilty plea of his own free will, Guymon said, "Absolutely, your honor."
Guymon, who has been a candidate in the past, supported school board candidates Rod Hall and Tara Volesky, wife of Guymon's attorney, in the June election. The winning candidates were Deb Olson and Rick Johnson.
Guymon is locally infamous for his sometimes bizarre behavior, including calling his opponents "spineless jellyfish" in a past school board debate, maintaining a website devoted to his opinions called The Book of Guymon, and sending mailers to all Mitchell residents claiming that Catholics are conspiring to manipulate the city.
Bjorkman ordered a presentence investigation and set sentencing for September.