Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Businessman accused of voting twice

Felony charge filed against Walt Coiner

Express Staff Writer

A felony charge has been filed in Blaine County against a Magic Valley businessman accused of voting twice in last year's November general election.

Walter A. Coiner, a Ketchum resident and an owner of Hollyberry Nursery in Hansen, is charged with illegal voting under Idaho criminal code 18-2306, which provides that "every person who votes more than once at any given election ... is guilty of a felony." The crime is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $1,000 fine.

The Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office filed the charge on Sept. 29.

"He is accused of voting in the November 2008 election twice," Prosecuting Attorney Jim Thomas wrote in an e-mail to the Idaho Mountain Express. "Once in Twin Falls with an absentee ballot and once in person in Blaine County."

An arrest warrant was not issued. Rather, Coiner was issued a summons ordering him to appear for arraignment at 9 a.m. on Oct. 19 in Blaine County Magistrate Court.

"I can't really discuss this until I talk to my attorney," Coiner said in an interview. "It's something weird—I don't understand this."

Blaine County court records state that Coiner was born in 1953 and list him as a Hansen resident. Coiner and his wife also maintain a home in Ketchum.

Coiner is a supervisor of the Sun Valley Ski and Snowboard School and is listed as president of the board of the North Intermountain Division of the Professional Ski Instructors of America.

He is also a member of the Twin Falls County Tree Commission.

Coiner is a relative of Charles Coiner, a Republican state senator from Twin Falls County.

Terry Smith:

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