Former Hattiesburg candidate pleads guilty to voting outside of - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Former Hattiesburg candidate pleads guilty to voting outside of district

Cory Ferraez was sentenced Monday after he pleaded guilty to voter fraud. Source: AG Jim Hood Cory Ferraez was sentenced Monday after he pleaded guilty to voter fraud. Source: AG Jim Hood
LOWNDES COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A Hattiesburg man who ran for an open state representative seat last year was sentenced Monday morning after pleading guilty to voting outside of his legal district.

28-year-old Cory Ferraez was sentenced by Lowndes County Circuit Court Judge Lee Coleman to six months in the custody of the county jail with all six months suspended. He was ordered to pay a $200 fine, $200 assessment to the Crime Victims Compensation Fund and all court costs.

Ferraez illegally voted in a 2015 election in Lowndes County even though he was living in Hattiesburg. He was arrested on a capias in December following an indictment by a Lowndes County grand jury.

He was indicted for swearing to a false application for absentee ballot in addition to voting outside of his legal domicile, but the first charge was dropped in exchange for his guilty plea to count two.

According to Attorney General Jim Hood, Ferraez was told beforehand that what he did is illegal.

“The defendant is a lawyer, who appeared before the State Election Commission, and was warned by my Deputy AG on the record that it is illegal to claim residency in one place yet vote in another,” said General Hood. “He was told that an investigator was present and recording the meeting. When he qualified to run, he filed a sworn statement that he had lived in Hattiesburg for the two year period required by law. At the Election Commission meeting, he was confronted with his Lowndes County voter record during those two years."

General Hood said it is voter fraud to vote where you do not reside and of all people, a lawyer should follow the law, especially after he was given the courtesy warning.

After General Hood's announcement, Ferraez released this statement:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information, contact Jace Ferraez at (662) 574-0157

Attorney Settles to Put Clients First

Hattiesburg attorney Cory Ferraez has agreed to settle a dispute with the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office over voting outside his residence in 2015.

In October 2015, Ferraez voted in his hometown of Lowndes County where he was a registered voter since the age of 18. In 2016, after living in Hattiesburg for more than one year, Ferraez changed his voter registration to Forrest County. Later in 2017, and in order to qualify to run for state representative, Ferraez correctly declared he was a Hattiesburg resident to meet to the 2-year residency requirement.

Before the special election in 2017, the AG’s Office, under the direction of the only democrat-elected state official, attempted to keep Ferraez off of the ballot based on his Lowndes county vote in 2015. After that attempt failed, the State Board of Elections approved Ferraez’s candidacy and Forrest County residency, the AG’s Office pushed to convene a special grand jury so they could aggressively prosecute the case before the election took place.

Although no candidates for the special election declared party affiliation, and with the Republican super majority likely at stake, Ferraez indicated that he would caucus with the Republican party if elected.

“This is the first case of its kind to be indicted by any Attorney General ever in Mississippi. The entire indictment was politically motivated and an abuse of process, which has no place in our judicial system,” said one of Ferraez’s attorneys, Jace Ferraez. "Further, Cory did not plead guilty to voter fraud. Cory only plead to voting outside his legal domicile or residence because he was legally registered to vote in Lowndes County. Cory wants this political witch hunt behind him, so he can focus on helping his clients all across the state. Cory has a long and established record of service in any community in which he has been involved. The politics of personal destruction will not win, and although we would have preferred a complete dismissal, this resolution allows us time to focus on what matters in our great state—representing the people.”

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