A former election judge in Pennsylvania has pleaded guilty to charges that he stuffed ballot boxes in multiple elections after accepting bribes to help Democratic contenders win their races.
Domenick J. DeMuro, who oversaw elections in South Philadelphia during primaries between 2014 and 2016, admitted to taking money from political consultants in exchange for casting multiple ballots for specific candidates.
While holding the elected and paid position, DeMuro engaged in a “conspiracy to deprive voters of civil rights” and violated the Travel Act “by using a cellphone, in interstate commerce,” to promote bribery, as his plea agreement states.
“Voting over and over”
U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain described the nature of the fraud, which resulted in the addition of dozens of votes to machines in each of three elections, representing as much as 22% of the total ballots cast.
“DeMuro fraudulently stuffed the ballot box by literally standing in a voting booth and voting over and over, as fast as he could, while he thought the coast was clear,” McSwain said.
The prosecutor called voting “the cornerstone of our democracy,” asserting that when “even one vote is fraudulently rung up, the integrity of that election is compromised.”
Court records did not indicate which candidates the fraudulent voting helped or whether they won their respective races. McSwain’s office continues its investigation, which is focused on one unnamed consultant believed to have paid DeMuro to stuff the ballot box.
“Not removing voters who have died”
President Donald Trump has increased his attention on the issue of voter fraud as the 2020 presidential election draws near.
Several states are advancing plans to expand mail-in voting options in an effort to limit exposure to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Trump, however, maintains such options come with an unacceptable risk of corruption.
According to RealClearPolitics, a total of about 28 million mail-in ballots went missing in the last four elections. Furthermore, Judicial Watch announced in January that it had located millions of names on voter rolls that should have been removed.
“An unusually high registration rate suggests that a jurisdiction is not removing voters who have died or who have moved elsewhere, as required by [federal law],” the organization wrote.
America is less than six months away from a pivotal presidential race amid deep divisions regarding the best path forward for the nation. It might be more important now than ever to ensure Americans can trust the results of that election.