HAZLETON – A Hazleton man has been arrested for allegedly trying to register to vote despite having prior felony convictions.
Buchanan County sheriff’s deputies arrested William James Gibson, 68, on Dec. 20 for one count of first-degree election misconduct, a felony. He was later released from jail pending trial.
Deputies allege Gibson is prohibited from voting because of earlier convictions for burglary and repeat drug offenses. His most recent conviction came in 2017 after a deputy spotted him walking to Oelwein on Highway 150 around 1 a.m. and offered him a ride. Gibson accepted the ride, and the deputy then found silver pipe and marijuana on Gibson.
On Nov. 6, Gibson showed up at a polling place in Hazleton and signed a voter registration form that included swearing he didn’t have a felony conviction, according to court records. This was despite the fact that a precinct employee told him he had a felony conviction.
First-degree election misconduct is a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison.