Wake County man sentenced for illegally voting in U.S. elections

ZEBULON, NC (WTVD) -- A Wake County man was sentenced to four months in prison for illegally voting in the 2012 and 2016 elections.

Roberto Hernandez-Cuarenta, 57, of Zebulon, was convicted on two counts of voting by alien.

Although Hernandez-Cuarenta is a legal resident of the United States, the native of Mexico is not a U.S. citizen, rendering him ineligible to cast ballots in U.S. elections.

According to authorities, Hernandez-Cuarenta, "knowing he was not a United States citizen, did knowingly vote in two elections held in part for the purpose of electing a candidate for the Office of President, Vice President, and Member of the House of Representative."

"The right to vote is a precious privilege available only to citizens of the United States," said Robert J. Higdon Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina. "When a non-citizen votes in a federal election it serves to dilute and devalue the vote of American citizens and places the decision-making authority of the American electorate in the hands of those who have no right to make those choices."

Hernandez-Cuarenta was sentenced to time served on both counts which is four months of imprisonment.


Five North Carolina residents accused of illegally voting during the 2016 election have had felony charges dropped under plea deals.

The Southern Coalition for Social Justice issued a statement saying the five entered Alford pleas to misdemeanor obstruction of justice charges on Monday in Alamance County. Alford pleas acknowledge prosecutors have enough evidence to win conviction on a given charge.

The five originally faced felony charges of voting while serving probation. North Carolina requires convicted felons to complete any probation or parole before voting rights are restored.

The nonprofit organization said the pleas allow them to avoid prison time they could have faced if convicted of the voting charges.

A state audit of the 2016 elections found 441 felons voted - unlawfully - before having that right restored. More than two-thirds were black.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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