Three new cases of election fraud

Election fraud is making headlines in three Democrat states -- Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. In Connecticut, the situation took a dramatic turn as allegations of fraud led Bridgeport Superior Court Judge William Clark to overturn the results of a Democrat mayoral primary after a video surfaced online, seemingly showing a supporter of incumbent Democrat mayor Joe Ganim, stuffing stacks of papers into a ballot drop box.

In Massachusetts, a Democrat mayoral candidate is facing accusations of bribing voters. Springfield officials claim they witnessed voters being brought to City Hall for early voting, with some expecting cash in return for voting for Democrat candidate Justin Hurst.

New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin's office announced state election fraud charges related to mail-in ballots and voter registrations in the 2020 and 2021 elections. Paterson City Council President Alex Mendez (D) faces additional charges in a 2020 election fraud case. Allegations suggest that Mendez's campaign collected unsealed ballots, inspected them to determine if they were cast for him, and replaced those that weren't. These replacement ballots allegedly came from voters' mailboxes, painting a concerning picture of voter manipulation.

Mendez claims that the accusations are unjust and only brought because previous charges weren't progressing as expected.

Democrat Henrilynn Ibezim, a former candidate for Plainfield mayor in 2021, found himself charged with "election fraud and other crimes." These charges include:

  • Election fraud.
  • Criminal attempt to commit false registration or transfer.
  • Tampering with public records.
  • Forgery.
  • Hindering apprehension or prosecution.
  • Falsifying or tampering with records.

These charges stem from an Office of Public Integrity and Accountability’s (OPIA) Corruption Bureau investigation. Ibezim allegedly directed associates and campaign volunteers to complete blank voter registration applications based on forms with voter information he provided to the group. He then allegedly brought a large white garbage bag filled with nearly 1,000 of these fake voter-registration applications to the post office to mail to the Union County Commissioner of Registration.

The investigation into Ibezim fits into the larger context of election fraud in New Jersey in several ways:

  • The instances of election fraud in New Jersey, including those related to mail-in voting, are not uncommon and are often difficult to detect. This is evidenced by the Paterson scandal, which involved accusations of mail-in voting fraud, becoming a standard rather than an exception.
  • The investigation into Ibezim's alleged crimes is part of a broader effort to uphold the integrity of the democratic process in New Jersey. The Attorney General's office has proactively addressed these allegations, as seen in the case of Alex Mendez and other politicians.
  • The allegations of election fraud in New Jersey have been a topic of national discussion, with President Donald Trump using the Paterson scandal to argue against mail-in voting. This has highlighted the importance of maintaining the integrity of the voting process.
  • The allegations of election fraud in New Jersey have also highlighted the importance of voter registration and the process of voting. In the case of Ibezim, the alleged crime involved submitting voter registration applications for people who were not eligible to vote.

The Connecticut incident involving absentee ballot abuse, which is specific to Bridgeport, a city known for its voting irregularities, is not an isolated case. In fact, practices such as "ballot harvesting," where campaign workers or volunteers collect absentee ballots on behalf of voters, are not a phenomenon limited to Connecticut. It is practiced nationwide, often in states where it is legal and in others where it is not.

It is a method used by campaigns to increase voter turnout. It is often referred to by different names in different regions, such as 'boleteros' in Florida and 'politiqueras' in Texas. It reflects a broader issue of election fraud that is pervasive and challenging to address.

To provide some context, these election-related criminal cases aren't isolated incidents. There have been at least four such cases nationwide, with two involving this year's elections and two related to prior elections. As for the future, a new primary date is yet to be set in Connecticut. Judge Clark has given lawyers a 10-day window to work with city and state election officials to determine a potential date for the new election.

Image: Marco Versh Professional Photographer

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