Authorities charged four Philadelphia election workers with rigging a statehouse election and throwing the seat to the Democrats.
Dolores Shaw, Calvin Mattox, Thurman George, and Wallace Hill have been charged with interference with primaries and elections, prohibiting duress and intimidation of voters and interference with the free exercise of elective franchise, tampering with public records, conspiracy, and other offenses.
Democrat Emilio Vasquez won the seat to the Pennsylvania State House, during a special election in March.
Three specific incidents, according to the Office of the Attorney General, led to the charges:
The first claim of voter fraud revolved around two Republican voters a couple who spoke limited English – who planned to assist each other with voting, which is allowed under Pennsylvania’s language proficiency rules. They voted in the same booth, and were under the impression that both of their votes had counted – but only one was.
That should have resulted in an under-count by the end of the day since 24 voters entered the polls, but only 23 voted. However, the official results showed 24 votes cast – suggesting that Shaw, Maddox, George, and Hill tampered with the final record.
Another voter, who needed a translator to assist him with his voting, said the translator grew hostile, and the voter felt as though “he never wanted to vote again.”
A third voter claimed that election workers told him that he couldn’t bring notes on the candidates inside the voting booth, which is permitted by law, and eventually that the machine was “broken,” which it wasn’t.
The voter later returned, as the last voter of the day. He selected a “write-in” candidate without writing a candidate in – meaning his vote should have been blank. Instead, it came up as a vote for Vasquez, the Democratic candidate.
“The four individuals charged as a result of this joint investigation have betrayed the trust that the citizens of Philadelphia have given them to ensure a free, fair, and unencumbered Election Day,” said District Attorney Kelley Hodge. “I would like to thank the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office and the Philadelphia Police Department for making this investigation a success. And to those heading to the polls on Tuesday, November 7, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Election Fraud Task Force will continue to monitor what goes on in our polling places, so every vote will count.”