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Guymon accused of voting twice, could face criminal charge

Craig Guymon is pictured debating his fellow Mitchell school board candidates before the 2012 election. (Daily Republic photo)

A Mitchell man known for persistent complaints against school officials could now face a felony charge for allegedly voting twice in Tuesday's school board election.

Craig Guymon is believed to have voted by absentee ballot Tuesday afternoon at the Davison County Courthouse in Mitchell, and later by regular ballot Tuesday at the election's sole polling place at the Mitchell Career and Technical Education Academy. Absentee voting is allowed until 3 p.m. on Election Day.

Davison County Auditor Susan Kiepke received a call from Mitchell School District Business Manager Steve Culhane stating that poll workers noted Guymon's name in the poll book and later found an absentee ballot with Guymon's name.

Culhane said he was instructed by Kiepke not to count the absentee ballot.

"In all the elections I've worked in, this has never happened before to me," Culhane said.

Voting twice in an election can be prosecuted as a felony, according to Mitchell Police Officer Dan Fechner, who took the voting irregularity complaint from Kiepke at the courthouse shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Fechner, who took a copy of the ballot place polling book as evidence, said the complaint will be turned over to Detective Lt. Don Everson, who will assign an investigator to the case.

The Daily Republic contacted Guymon late Tuesday evening by phone.

"I have no comment on that," he said before adding, "there must be another vote-counting machine problem down there again."

The latter comment was apparently a reference to vote-counting irregularities that forced county officials to recount ballots in the June 2012 election in which Guymon was a candidate. Guymon, who has run more than once for school board, was not a candidate in this year's election but was a vocal supporter of candidates Rod Hall and Tara Volesky, who lost to Deb Olson and Rick Johnson in Tuesday's unofficial results.

Guymon filed a lawsuit over last June's results but, for reasons that are publicly unknown, the suit has never made it to court.

Guymon is well known as a vocal critic of school officials. He once called his opponents "spineless jellyfish" during a school board debate and has sent mailers to Mitchell residents outlining allegations including what he has called a Catholic conspiracy among Mitchell's elected and appointed leaders.