New Mexico man given deferred sentence for forged ballots

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico man received a deferred sentence for forging signatures on applications for absentee ballots in a 2016 municipal election.

Dyon Herrera, 24, pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy to violate the municipal code in Espanola, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

The charge is a fourth-degree felony, but Herrera's sentence allows him to avoid a felony conviction on his record if he completes 18 months of probation without a violation.

Herrera could have received a sentence of up to 18 months in prison, but he testified against Laura Seeds in her election fraud case as part of a plea agreement.

Herrera told prosecutors he signed the ballot applications at Seeds' request while working on working on a campaign to re-elect her husband, Espanola City Councilor Robert Seeds.

A jury found Laura Seeds guilty of five felonies in November, including two counts of illegal possession of absentee ballots, two counts of making false statements and one count of conspiracy to violate the city’s election code.

She was sentenced to five years of probation and faces another trial on related charges later this year.