Madison 9 down to 2

9 people were arrested just across the Florida line in Madison on charges similar to the Quitman 10, but on trial all charges have been dropped except for 2, as George Rhynes pointed out.

Interviewing one of their lawyers 20 December 2012, George heard that at least her clients refused to accept plea bargains.

The Madison 9 were arrested in November 2011, and the obvious question came, as Trymaine Lee wrote for Huffpo 18 January 2013, Nine Election-Related Arrests In Florida: A Case Of Voter Fraud Or Voter Suppression?

As soon as Judy Ann Crumitie answered the banging on her door one November morning last year, police officers and FBI agents streamed into her home, some with their guns drawn and trained in her direction.

They barked, Did she have any weapons, Crumitie recalled.

The next thing she knew officers were rushing through her house searching for who knows what. She’d know soon enough.

“I was just trying to help the people vote,” Crumitie, 51, told the Huffington Post’s Black Voices.

Crumitie, of Madison, Fla. — along with eight other people — was arrested and charged with voter fraud in connection to a local school board election in 2010. The incident came just months after a new law was passed in Florida that made it illegal for absentee ballots to be sent anywhere other than a voter’s registered address.

Lawyers for Crumitie would not elaborate on the circumstances of her arrest or the charges. But they said that the incident and the way officials handled the investigation and ultimately her arrests — including entering her home with guns drawn and without a search warrant — are part of a broader political movement across the state and country to suppress poor and minority voters.

It also didn’t take long for talk of a countersuit, as News Talk Florida wrote 18 January 2013, “Madison 9″ Attorney Announces Suit Against State ,

The attorney for those known as the “Madison Nine” for being defendants in a north Florida voting-fraud case says he plans to sue the Florida Department of Law Enforcement over their arrests.

Attorney Benjamin Crump of Tallahassee appeared Tuesday outside Gov. Rick Scott’s office in the Capitol to announce his plans. Madison County’s top elections official and a school board member are among those charged.

Crump said the arrests were wrongful and done with improper force. FDLE has maintained the arrests were lawful.

Supervisor of Elections Jada Woods Williams is charged in an absentee-ballot scheme to help elect school board member Abra “Tina” Johnson in 2010. Johnson also faces charges. Gov. Rick Scott has suspended both of them.

Quite like Georgia governor Nathan Deal suspending the Quitman 10 members who were elected to the Brooks County school board.

And it didn’t take long for some of the Madison 9 charges to unravel. Garin Flowers wrote for WCTV 15 January 2013, Jan 2013 Charges dropped for 1,

Laverne Haynes, Tina Johnson and Judy Ann Crumitie are all hopeful.

They’re facing charges of voter fraud, and Monday they found out that someone facing the same charges had theirs dropped.

Tina Johnson, Madison Nine, stated, “we just trying to just do the best we can, but it’s really been rough,” Johnson said.

Judy Ann Crumitie, Madison Nine: “we just got caught up in a ordeal that it really shouldn’t have happened,” Crumitie said.

Laverne Haynes, Madison Nine, “it’s like a rollercoaster, we’ve had highs, we’ve had lows,” Haynes said.

Known as the Madison 9, they all asked a judge to completely dismiss their case, claiming they did nothing wrong.

That worked for Montollis Roberson, the only one so far who had that to happen.

After a bit more than a year, almost all of the charges had unravelled. George was there that day, 23 January 2013, interviewing a lawyer who came from Tallahassee to help.

Garin Flowers wrote for WCTV 31 May 2013, 31 May 2013 Judge denies motion to dismiss charges for last 2,

Tina Johnson and her husband, Earnest Johnson, petitioned a judge two weeks ago to drop the voter fraud charges the two face.

That request was denied, and they will go to trial.