Man sentenced to supervised probation for ineligible voting

A Seymour man will serve the better part of a year on probation after he recently pleaded guilty to ineligible voting.

Miguel A. Aguirre, who is a legal permanent resident with a valid Social Security number, was sentenced Feb. 22 by Jackson Circuit Court Judge Richard W. Poynter to 349 days on probation for the Level 6 felony. Poynter suspended a 349-day sentence in jail.

Aguirre, 48, also must submit to tests for controlled substances, drugs and alcohol and was ordered to pay court costs, probation fees and a $400 public defender service fee.

The sentence stems from an investigation into his voting record that revealed he voted in the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 elections even though he was not eligible. He was arrested in November 2017 and spent eight days in jail, for which he will receive credit and good time.

The investigation began when Aguirre and his wife, Deborah, asked voter registration clerk Deseree McKain-Haurez to remove Miguel Aguirre from the voter registration list.

Since that request is rare, McKain-Haurez asked the couple why and was told he wanted to be removed from the jury pool put together each year. Jury pools are selected in part by voter registration but not exclusively.

McKain-Haurez gave the couple paperwork to fill out when Deborah said Miguel could not serve on a jury because he was not a citizen.

That prompted then-clerk Amanda Lowery and McKain-Haurez to research Aguirre’s voting history. They discovered through voting records he had voted in four general elections since 2004 and as recent as 2016. They also found the Jackson 3 North precinct book Aguirre signed confirming he had voted, Lowery said.

At that point, Lowery said her office then had an obligation to contact authorities. She said it was the first case of ineligible voting in Jackson County that she had known about.

Aguirre was represented by attorney Jeremy W. Braunstein with the public defender’s office.