Closing Arguments Wrap Up in ESL Trial

The closing arguments wrapped up today and the jury will begin deliberations tomorrow morning in the East St. Louis Democratic Voter Fraud Trial.

Prosecutors are trying to prove that Charles R. Powell Jr., head of the East St. Louis Democratic Party, and others conspired to buy votes with money from the Belleville-based St. Clair County Democratic organization.

The chairman of the East St. Louis Democratic Committee is accused of conspiring with three precinct committeemen and an election worker to buy votes in the Nov. 2 election using cash, liquor and cigarettes.

Prosecutor Mike Carr said the city has a past of voting irregularities and “this was business as usual in East St. Louis on Election Day.”

Defense attorneys called the government’s case flimsy because it relied on witnesses who often contradicted each other or who recanted portions of their testimony.

State records showed that tens of thousands of dollars were transferred from the county Democrats to the committeemen days before the Nov. 2 election. Party leaders said it was for legitimate expenses, including rides to the polls for people without cars.

In March, three precinct committeemen and a precinct worker each pleaded guilty to a related count of vote buying. They are awaiting sentencing.

The trial has lasted three weeks against the five defendents.

Previous posts on the Democratic Voter Fraud Trial in East St. Louis:
East St. Louis makes Voter Fraud a Business
$5 for Non-Racists; Racists are $10
ESL Prosecution Witness Falters
Damning Tapes in East St. Louis Voter Fraud Trial
Witness Grilled at ESL Vote Fraud Trial
How to Buy Votes at ESL Vote Fraud Trial
“Showing Appreciation” at ESL Voter Fraud Trial
Democratic Vote Buyers May Get Pass
ESL Vote Fraud Trial Gets Nasty
Ugly Politics, Ugly Trial in ESL

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