Cary Johnson
Cary Johnson

A Canton alderwoman, Canton Public Schools board member and former fire chief are among the seven people arrested last week on multiple counts of voter fraud stemming back to the 2017 Canton municipal elections. 

A Madison County grand jury indicted seven people in October for voter fraud, including Alderwoman Vicki McNeil, who once served as Canton’s police chief. CPS board member Courtney Rainey, also Canton’s director of human and cultural needs, was arrested. Former Fire Chief Cary Johnson was arrested Friday.

McNeil was indicted on four counts of voter fraud. According to the indictments, McNeil, a candidate for re-election as alderwoman, assisted Stephanie Dallas and Robert Jefferson with voting by absentee ballot. According to state law, voters cannot be assisted in filling out their ballot by a candidate. 

Rainey was indicted on multiple counts of voter fraud, witness intimidation, voting by unqualified person and conspiracy to commit voter fraud. 

According to one count, Rainey “ did willfully, unlawfully, knowingly and feloniously attempt to procure or influence the vote of Emma Ousley by the payment of money in exchange for his vote in the Canton Municipal Election in 2017.” 

Rainey then allegedly tried to encourage Ousley to provide false information to officials. 

Another count alleged Rainey gave a Walmart Gift Card to Louvenia Brown in exchange for her vote. She is also alleged to have paid money to Montel Handy in exchange for his vote.

For the conspiracy charge, Rainey is alleged to have conspired with Andrew Grant, another Canton alderman, to commit voter fraud. Grant was not indicted. As to the voting by unqualified person count, Rainey signed an absentee ballot to vote in the Canton municipal elections despite no longer living at a proper address.

Johnson was charged with three counts of voter fraud for trying to pay money and beer in exchange for votes. In Count 1, Johnson is alleged to have promised beer to Linda Louis in exchange for a vote. Johnson allegedly tried to pay Bobbie Lewis and Kierruca Lewis for their votes as well.

Also arrested were Sherman Matlock, Donnell Robinson, Jennifer Robinson and Desmand King. 

Donnell Robinson was indicted on counts of voter fraud and voting by unqualified person as an habitual offender. 

Jennifer Robinson was indicted on counts of voter fraud and voting by an unqualified person. 

Matlock was indicted on counts of voter fraud and voting by an unqualified person.

King, a deputy clerk for the City of Canton, was indicted on two counts of voter fraud. 

All have since bonded out except for Matlock.

According to Bryan Buckley, assistant Madison County District Attorney, this is the first round in a series of indictments expected to be handed down. The first round included a total of 15 indictments and 25 counts. 

“This investigation was conducted by the DA’s office as a result of voluminous complaints received by the citizens of Canton during the absentee voting taking place in the 2017 Canton Municipal elections,” Buckley said.