Ruby pointed out in a separate sentencing memorandum that the ballot applications he completed included clauses that read, "I understand that I must vote in person if I can," and "I do hereby certify the information given is true to the best of my knowledge."
"It strains credulity to assert that an elected official, a county commissioner, believed it was fine to falsify scores of official forms to vote in federal and state elections when the forms themselves expressly state the opposite," Ruby said, according to the memorandum.
A staffer went back through the applications and filled in a reason. Prosecutors have asserted that Ramey was the one who ordered the staffer to do so.
"At the end, I panicked when I was asked about it," Ramey said Thursday. "I was too scared to admit responsibility to it."
Ramey, when he spoke at sentencing, apologized to his family and the citizens of Lincoln County and said he grew up with an interest in politics.
"It was always very hurtful to me, knowing Lincoln County was a place that had a lot of negative attention," he said, referring to Southern West Virginia's reputation for election corruption. "Never did I want to end up being in a position where I would cause negative attention and negative connotations."
Johnston said he also did not buy Ramey's representations that he was completely ignorant of the conspiracy.
"Although election law is complicated, it's not that complicated," Johnston said. "It's not rocket science."
Ramey's nearly two-year sentence is the harshest of the three officials who were implicated in the scheme to rig the 2010 primary. A fourth man, James Matheny, was sentenced to eight years in prison for threatening two investigators with a gun while they were questioning him about his absentee ballot.
Reach Zac Taylor at zachary.tay...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5189.