A Democratic city councilman in a suburban California town is one of half a dozen individuals who are facing charges related to alleged fraud in a recent runoff election that, according to the Washington Examiner, “was ultimately decided by a single vote.”
Thirty-four-year-old Compton City Councilman Isaac Galvan was arrested Friday, the Examiner reported, and has been charged with “one count of conspiracy to commit election fraud and one count of attempted bribery with intent to influence an election.”
Former city council hopeful Jace Dawson was also charged in the scheme, as were four other individuals ranging in age from 34 to 61.
They’re each facing one count of conspiracy to commit election fraud, the Examiner said, citing a Friday announcement from the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
According to the Associated Press, the charges stem from a scheme that sought to rig a June race “to ensure Galvan would retain his seat.”
In a statement, the district attorney’s office said the scheme involved four voters registering “to vote at Dawson’s address in Compton, even though they didn’t live there. All four are charged with voting illegally in the election,” prosecutors said.
Galvan is also said to be facing allegations that he attempted to bribe an election worker as she was counting ballots, the AP notes.
In the end, Galvan came up victorious against Andre Spicer in an 855–854 vote, according to the AP.
Both he and Dawson have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
“The cornerstone” of democracy
In a statement of his own, local DA George Gascon said constituents “expect and deserve” to see free and fair elections.
“Elections are the cornerstone of our democratic nation. We must do everything in our power to protect the integrity of the electorate process and to ensure that elections are free and fair,” Gascon said. “The people of Los Angeles County expect and deserve a government that is free of political corruption at every level.”
Thankfully, this scheme to steal an election was uncovered and those responsible will soon face the consequences. Still, it raises the question: How many other election fraud schemes have succeeded that we don’t know about? And why aren’t lawmakers in Washington doing more to prevent it in the future?