This sounds like a story that belongs in Chicago. You know, the place where the motto is to “vote early and vote often.” Of course, no one should suggest that Chicago is the sole domain of political corruption as it’s everywhere. It’s just that Chicago has somewhat set the standard for vote tampering and voter fraud.
But this time we are dealing with Philadelphia. And what has been uncovered there is not good. We have Chicago-style elections in the City of Brotherly Love.
Four Democratic poll workers have been charged with numerous offenses including voter intimidation. This does nothing to encourage participation in elections as voters conclude that “it’s all rigged anyway.” While it’s unlike that their actions altered the result, such offenses are a direct assault on our form of government. Hence, it’s serious.
“Four members of an election board were charged Monday with intimidating voters, casting bogus ballots, and falsely certifying the results in their polling place during a March 21 special election for the state House’s 197th District.
“Those charged include Dolores Shaw, 61; Calvin Mattox, 52; Thurman George, 57; and Wallace Hill, 60. The four — all Democrats — manned the ballot machines at the Esperanza Health Center at Kensington and Allegheny Avenues in the 43rd Ward, one of the polling places where complaints about illegal electioneering were lodged.”
Those were some very busy poll workers. Given that their alleged crimes were not “necessary” to change the results, the whole thing was a very stupid waste of effort in addition to being criminal. And it questions the intelligence of those who allegedly committed these acts.
Here are a couple of the offenses for which members of this group have been charged.
“One elderly couple, both Republicans, cast their ballots together, but only one of the votes was recorded, while the other appeared to have been replaced with a write-in vote for the Democrat in the race, Shapiro said.
“A voter intending to cast a ballot for the Green Party candidate was told the ballot machine was broken and later was cursed at when he returned to try again, Shapiro said. Another voter supporting the Green Party candidate was aggressively questioned when he tried to bring someone into the polling booth to assist him, as allowed by law.”
As pointed out, the result of this election, even without fraud, was never in doubt. “Emilio Vazquez, the Democratic leader of the 43rd Ward, easily won the special election despite having to run a write-in campaign. He was sworn into office April 5 and will have to seek reelection to a full two-year term next year. He declined to comment Monday.”
The Philadelphia District Attorney has it right.
“Philadelphia District Attorney Kelley Hodge on Monday called the election board actions ‘a ruthless example of why so many of our fellow citizens are skeptical and distrustful of our elections.'”
Nobody wins when an election is decided by fraud. While it appears that the election fraud in this ballot did not change the result, the point remains obvious. People do not like to participate in dishonest contests where they are being played for fools.
This is an outstanding time to make an example out of those who would pervert our elections. That this was a relatively obscure ballot should not deter the prosecution. In fact, this should be seen as a preemptive strike against the sort of thing that must be stopped before state and national elections are held.
Source: The Inquirer
Source: ABC News