ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – A former state Senate candidate has been accused of illegally applying for absentee ballots in the names of three dead people in 2014.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that Carlos Villanueva, a Democrat, says he didn’t break the law and that he intends to plead not guilty.
A grand jury on Thursday charged Villanueva with three counts of unlawful absentee ballot application and three counts of unlawful absentee ballot possession. He also faces charges of perjury and conspiracy to committee forgery.
Villanueva tells the Journal that he was merely testing the election system when he applied for the ballots. He says election officials should have refused to mail the ballots.
He also says that when he did receive the ballots, he turned them in to state elections officials.
Villanueva unsuccessfully ran for state Senate in 2012.