Undocumented immigrant charged with voter fraud awaits extradition

CARSON CITY — An immigrant living in the country illegally who registered to vote under a false name and cast ballots in the 2008 and 2010 Nevada elections is in custody in California and faces extradition to Nevada to face two felony charges.

According to a criminal complaint filed by the Nevada attorney general’s office, Ortencia Segura in August 2008 lied to the Washoe County Registrar of Voters and falsely registered to vote under the name “Marisela Reyna.”

An investigation into the case began after the secretary of state’s office received information from the U.S. Department of Justice.

She registered as a Republican, but it is unknown which candidates she voted for or if her voting affected any close elections.

Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller says the case ultimately demonstrates the integrity and security of Nevada’s elections process.

“As we’ve demonstrated in past cases of elections violations, this type of fraud demands the most zealous prosecution,” Miller said. “There is no reason to believe that this type of fraud is widespread, however. One of the reasons that it isn’t widespread is our proactive approach to enforcing the laws that ensure the integrity of our elections system.

“It’s important to note that a ‘voter ID’ law would not have prevented this incident,” he said. “This was an incident that was based on identity theft. The suspect had identification, albeit fraudulent, which is why she was allowed to vote.”

The Department of Justice said Segura was arrested in 2012 for filing a false statement in a passport application and was subsequently deported at that time for false re-entry. She allegedly also fraudulently obtained a Nevada driver’s license under the name “Marisela Reyna,” which she used to complete a 2008 voter registration form. The Washoe County registrar’s office confirmed that Marisela Reyna voted in the 2008 and 2010 elections.

Based on that investigation, Reno Judge Peter Sferrazza issued an arrest warrant for Segura. On Thursday, Segura was arrested for again entering the United States illegally, at which time federal officials discovered the outstanding Nevada warrant.

Segura is being held in Las Colinas Detention Facility in Santee, Calif., pending her extradition to Nevada.

The attorney general’s office is prosecuting the case.

Contact Capital Bureau reporter Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3900.