Law & the Courts

DOJ Convicts Former Philly Judge of Elections Who Stuffed Ballots for Bribes

The crest for the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigations at the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building in Washington, D.C. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

The Justice Department announced Thursday that a former Pennsylvania election official was convicted of accepting $2,500 in bribes to stuff ballots for three Democratic candidates for Common Pleas Court judge in Philadelphia.

Domenick J. Demuro pled guilty in March to the charges in a filing that was unsealed Thursday, the DOJ said. He admitted to being directed by an unnamed political consultant to inflate votes for “clients and preferred candidates” in the 2014, 2015, and 2016 primaries in exchange for “money and other things of value.” While he only cast 27 fraudulent ballots in the 2014 election, 40 votes in May 2015, and 46 in 2016, election results showed that the numbers accounted for over 22 percent of the total votes cast from Demuro’s voting location in 2014, over 15 percent in 2015, and over 17 percent in 2016.

“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,” U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain said in the release. “This is utterly reprehensible conduct.”

The conviction bears a maximum sentence of 15 years in federal prison. Sentencing is scheduled for June 30, 2020.

President Trump, who has been an outspoken critic of efforts to expand voting by mail ahead of the November presidential election, tweeted news of the story on Thursday. On Wednesday, he criticized Michigan for sending absentee ballot applications to millions of state residents “illegally and without authorization.”

“I will ask to hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down this Voter Fraud path!” Trump stated.

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