Jury selection began Monday morning in the election fraud trial of a former Eatonville mayor.
Anthony Grant and two of his campaign workers -- Mia Nowells and James Randolph -- are accused of manipulating voters so that they would cast absentee ballots for him during the 2015 mayoral election.
The trio faces numerous charges, including voter fraud, attempting to vote with a fraudulent ballot, illegally marking ballots, corruptly influencing voting and violating the Voter Protection Act.
The sitting mayor at the time would have won re-election were it not for absentee ballots. Instead, Grant won with an unexpected landslide.
Prosecutors said Grant, Nowells and Randolph coerced people into voting for someone for whom they didn't intend to vote.
One potential juror was excused Monday after he privately told the judge that he hates African-Americans and that he hopes the court jails the defendants.
Opening statements could begin Monday afternoon.
The defense is expected to present a theory that the trio was the victim of a witch hunt and that investigators intimidated witnesses.