WORTHINGTON — After pleading guilty to a felony unlawful voting charge, Oscar Duron-Jimenez received a stay of imposition Tuesday from Fifth Judicial District Judge Gordon Moore.
A stay of imposition means Moore did not pronounce Duron-Jimenez guilty. If Duron-Jimenez abides by probation conditions for a length of two years, then the offense will be lowered to a misdemeanor. It also means that it was not determined how long Duron-Jimenez would serve in prison if he is to violate his probation.
Duron-Jimenez explained that although he knew he was ineligible to vote because of felony probation, he kept receiving mailers that asked him to vote, so he felt that he should do his civic duty. He admitted that he had, in fact, voted in the November 2018 election at Rushmore City Hall.
Moore commended Duron-Jimenez for his desire to participate in the political process, but added that "the integrity of our elections is essential for our system to work."
He also encouraged Duron-Jimenez to resume voting after his probation is over.
"You should participate in the process," Moore said, "but you've got to make sure you're eligible to do that."
In addition to two years of probation, Duron-Jimenez was ordered to pay a $700 fine, which he may work off through community service.