A Republican who lost the primary for a Jefferson County state House seat has pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of deceptive election practices in Jefferson County District Court.
Timothy D. McKenrick, of Boulder, was charged May 26 for allegedly altering his signature on a ballot envelope earlier that month when he voted in the Jefferson County High School Board of Trustees election.
Charges state that McKenrick, who is in his mid-50s, admitted to multiple election officials that he intentionally altered the signature on his affirmation envelope to “test the system.” He told one election worker that “he had intentionally altered his signature to appear more closely to that he used when he was younger … to make sure the election workers were checking signatures,” the charges state.
In doing so, he “made or presented a record or document knowing it to be false with the purpose that it be taken as a genuine part of a record or document received or kept by the government,” the charges state.
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The charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. A trial date has not been set.
The Boulder Monitor, which first reported the charges against McKenrick, reported last month that shortly after casting his ballot, he told voters in a candidate forum, “You wouldn’t be able to read mine. There’s too many people that can forge really well.”
McKenrick did not respond to a request for comment left at the phone number listed on his campaign filing. His attorney, Kimberly Wein at Stevenson Law Office in Missoula, couldn’t be reached. A receptionist at the law firm said their attorneys don’t speak to the media.
McKenrick lost his June 7 Republican primary for House District 75 against incumbent Rep. Marta Bertoglio, 1,715 to 645. Bertoglio, a Republican from Clancy, is unopposed in the general election. Her district occupies most of Jefferson County, stretching from south of Helena south to Interstate 90.