Two BOE Workers Sentenced to Prison

CLEVELAND (AP) - Two election workers in the state's most populous county were sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in prison for rigging the 2004 presidential election recount so they could avoid a more thorough review of the votes.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Peter Corrigan allowed the women to remain free on bond pending appeal. Some of their friends and relatives sobbed as the judge impose the sentence.

Jacqueline Maiden, 60, an election coordinator who was the board's third-highest ranking employee when she was indicted last March, and ballot manager Kathleen Dreamer, 40, each were convicted of a felony count of negligent misconduct of an elections employee.

Maiden and Dreamer also were convicted of one misdemeanor count each of failure of elections employees to perform their duty. Both were acquitted of five other charges and a co-defendant who was an assistant manager of the ballot department was acquitted of all seven counts.

Ohio gave Bush the electoral votes he needed to defeat Democratic Sen. John Kerry in the close election and hold on to the White House in 2004.