Before handing down the sentence, Webster noted the vitriol surrounding politics on both sides of the aisle, and the measures he took toward ensuring the court's integrity.
"When this case first came about, I knew there was a possibility for political overtones," the judge said. "That's why I appointed special prosecutors for this case from both (political) parties."
While the judge made note of Marshall's longtime community involvement and lack of criminal history, Webster showed concern for the impact the defendant's actions could have.
"Those who tinker with the election process are tinkering with the foundations of democracy," the judge remarked. "I worry that this will only serve to further voter apathy and voter cynicism. I don't want the citizens of Jennings County to question the appointment of elected officials and wonder if it was really their votes that put them there."Marshall's supporters expressed disappointment at Judge Webster's decision. "I am just really disappointed. There are no victims in this case," Snyder said. "We have three people who wanted to vote, and Mike wanted to help them do that." Uh, no, Ms. Snyder, there were far more cases of vote fraud than just three absentee ballots. Those were just the three the special prosecutors agreed to allow Marshall to cop a plea to committing to avoid trial on many other absentee ballots that were cast fraudulently. God only knows how many elections have been stolen down in that part of the state as a direct result of this absentee ballot racket that had been going on for years. Snyder's reaction to the sentence shows that the Democrats have learned absolutely nothing from this ordeal. They believe the ends justifies the means. If winning elections can only happen by stealing votes, Democrats believe that is entirely appropriate. We have a President who arose out of a political operation that mastered the art of election fraud to win elections.
Indiana Republican Party State Chairman Eric Holcomb, recalling last week's conviction of St. Joseph Co. Democratic Party Chairman Butch Morgan for his role in a scheme to forge voter signatures to secure a place for Barack Obama on the 2008 Indiana Democratic Primary ballot, noted that it's been a busy week for the Indiana Democratic Party. "The rule of law continues to expose their culture of corruption," Holcomb said. Holcomb noted that Marshall's name appears on the campaign finance reports of numerous Democratic elected officials for whom he's performed political consulting work, including Sen. Joe Donnelly and State Rep. Terry Goodin. "Election fraud is not a myth," he said. "If Indiana Democrats are serious about protecting elections, they should start by following the law."