Former mayor ordered to prison for voter fraud

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Dothan (WTVY)-- The former mayor of Gordon, Alabama received a 12-month prison sentence Wednesday. That follows his conviction on two charges of Absentee Voter Fraud.

Former Gordon, AL mayor Elbert Melton leaves the Houston County Courthouse following his conviction on absentee voter fraud charges. Photo from January 16, 2018.

Assistant Houston County District Attorney Mark Johnson requested 10 years on each count, the maximum. However, defense attorney Joey Sheffield requested leniency because Melton is 71 and suffering from health issues.

A jury last month took only 45 minutes to find Melton guilty of notarizing two ballots in 2016, when he was running for mayor. He was immediately forced from office after his conviction.

He is expected to post an appeal bond and will be freed from jail pending a ruling from the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals.

The 12-months ordered by Houston County Circuit Judge Kevin Moulton is part of a three year split sentence that allows Melton to serve the final two years on probation.

He awaits trial on an unrelated theft charge.