A few quick points on this story:

After more than an hour of exhaustive internet research, I have been unable to determine the party affiliation of the student who was convicted despite the fact that the story is linked by numerous news sources.

Even the Huffington Post has linked the story but fails to mention the student’s political affiliation.

One would assume that if this student was a Republican, that fact would be included in most of the headlines. I have reached out to the editor of the Cougar Chronicle (the independent student newspaper at Cal State San Marcos) in an email and will provide an update if I receive a response.

Weaver gets year in prison for ASI fraud, cover-up

Matt Weaver, the ex-CSUSM junior who pleaded guilty last spring to stealing 745 students’ passwords in an effort to rig the 2012 ASI election, was sentenced July 15 to one year in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The 22-year-old Huntington Beach resident had been running for the office of ASI president and was caught in the act using other students’ logins and passwords to vote for himself and some friends more than 630 times. He obtained the login credentials by attaching a series of keylogging devices to desktop computers in the campus’s computer labs. He also used the stolen identities to read other students’ emails and log in to their Facebook pages.

U.S. District Judge Larry A. Burns was concerned about Weaver’s election fraud efforts, but was even more troubled by the fact that Weaver used the stolen student information, even after his arrest, to try and frame other CSUSM students for the election fraud, even sending anonymous emails to local newspapers to accuse fellow candidates of committing election fraud.

Falsely blaming others when Weaver knew he was responsible for the crime is “the phenomenal misjudgment I just can’t get around,” the judge told Weaver. “That’s what bothers me more than the original rigging” of the election, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Judge Burns noted that the original crime might have been perceived as less egregious – even a youthful prank – except for the cover up. “He’s on fire for this crime and then he pours gasoline on it” with similar bad behavior, the judge said.

“Weaver ran roughshod over the privacy rights of hundreds of people so that he could indulge his vanity,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy, in a statement. “If privacy is to mean anything in a digital age, it has to be protected. A 12-month sentence adequately warns men and women like Weaver that they cannot hide from the consequences of their actions behind youth or privilege. Everyone’s rights matter – not just theirs.”

Weaver cast many of the votes from a computer located on campus. According to court records, Weaver was exposed during the final hour of the student body election, when network administrators noticed unusual voting activity associated with a computer in Academic Hall 204. The administrators were able to determine that the user, later identified as Weaver, was cutting and pasting student usernames and passwords from an Excel spreadsheet into the VOTE system and then cast those students’ votes.