86-year-old Atascadero woman facing charges of violating election code
Edith Knight allegedly made phone calls to ‘would be voters’ from a polling place on election day
–Edith Knight, an 86-year old Atascadero resident, will face trial on May 30 for charges that allege violations of the California Elections Code. Knight was observed by an anonymous witness allegedly ”calling would-be voters from a polling place during the June 7 primary election.” The polling place was the Atascadero Elks Club. The violations involve soliciting a vote or speaking to a voter, “on the subject of marking his or her ballot and “electioneering as defined by Section 319.5.” If found guilty, Knight can face up to a year in the San Luis Obispo County jail.
The observer recorded a video of Knight while she was on the phone and posted the video on YouTube. The person who posted the video under the name “No Quarry On 58” also posted, “I reported this to the Atascadero Police on Fri. June 10th, to Officer Jeffrey Wilshusen – Report 16-1456.” The video was posted on June 16:
According to Atascadero Police Department Commander Joe Allen, the report of the incident was filed with the police department in June and was investigated before being submitted to the District Attorney’s office. Citing the Public Information Act, Allen declined to provide details about the identity of witnesses, whether or not the You Tube video was entered into evidence, or when the police report was submitted to the DA’s office. Allen did reply in an email that,“The Atascadero Police Department did not make an arrest in this case.”
Charges were filed by the Attorney General’s Office in April. District Attorney Dan Dow said that his office referred the case to the California Attorney General’s Office.
Knight is represented by attorney Ilan Funke-Bilu, who has confirmed the election code charges and that the May 30 trial is in the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court. Funke-Bilu said Knight, “is completely innocent and will be vindicated. This is why we have proceeded as fast as we legally can for our day in court.”
Friends of Knight, have set up a crowdfunding campaign on her behalf.