77-year-old North Bay man convicted of voter fraud after social media posts

A 77-year-old man from Sonoma County was convicted of one count of voter fraud after he posted on social media about voting twice in the past two elections, county prosecutors announced Wednesday.   

William Eschenbach was sentenced to six months of probation and 40 hours of community service. He is also ordered to pay $500 in restitution to the county registrar, according to the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office.   

The registrar was tipped off to Eschenbach's voter fraud after he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, in January that he did an "experiment" to prove mail-in voting was insecure by voting twice in the past two elections. He believed the experiment was a success after not initially hearing from elections officials, he added.   

What Eschenbach didn't know was that the registrar had automatically voided his initial mail ballot after counting the in-person one he submitted on Election Day.   

"I am thankful to our District Attorney for taking voter fraud seriously and it is important to understand that the election safeguards worked as intended to prevent fraud and protect the integrity of the vote," said Sonoma County Registrar of Voters Deva Marie Proto.