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Thompson takes plea deal in voting fraud case

BUFFALO -- Political activist Rus Thompson, accused of voting in Grand Island while residing in Niagara Falls in 2015, reached a plea agreement Thursday with the Erie County District Attorney's office.

Thompson, who was originally charged with five felonies related to voting fraud, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree offering a false instrument for filing, a misdemeanor. This followed his rejecting a previous plea deal for first-degree filing a false instrument, a felony.

Thompson said he could not accept a felony on his record as it would restrict his future voting rights and gun ownership rights -- especially as he had felt the whole ordeal was a political witch hunt against him led by his political opponents.

In his admission of the crime, Thompson noted he voted in Grand Island -- but only in Grand Island -- because he felt his residence in Niagara Falls to be temporary.

He will be sentenced May 3. It could include as much as three years probation.

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