The only problem with these absentee ballot records at the Rensselaer County Board of Elections in Troy, N.Y., is that they're phony, voters and investigators say -- and they've prompted what's being called an unprecedented investigation of suspected voter fraud.The Troy Record posted a story about this on October 13, noting that the Board of Elections should engage in better oversight and verification of absentee ballots to prevent overt fraud such as blatantly forged signatures such as those found on nearly 50 ballots in the September 2009 primary elections. In fact, it calls on the State to actually enforce existing law requiring signature verification:
Thirty-eight forged or fraudulent ballots have been thrown out -- enough votes, an election official admits, to likely have tipped the city council and county elections in November to the Democrats. Candidates would have been able to run both on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines in two weeks, and that could have given the Democrats in the general election.
A special prosecutor is investigating the case and criminal charges are possible. New York State Supreme Court Judge Michael Lynch ruled that there were "significant election law violations that have compromised the rights of numerous voters and the integrity of the election process."
Among the reasons cited on the fraudulent forms for absentee voting: "traveling to Buffalo," attending a "screen printing conference in Syracuse," "working late shift," "working construction," and "home -- ill."
"Someone took my signature and voted with it and I felt extremely violated," Suozzo told Fox News. He is a soft-spoken 28-year-old environmental engineer who says he never saw, let alone signed, the Working Families Party Absentee ballot application that carried his supposed signature. He was flabbergasted that someone would vote for him and submit it.
"The whole thing seems dirty to me," Suzzo said. "You wonder how often this happens and people don't get caught."
He says he did not have any type of medical procedure, adding "I haven't been to the hospital in years."
State Election Law calls for the comparison of signatures on absentee ballots and their request forms with that voters corresponding voter registration card. But some of at least 50 Troy residents claiming they were defrauded of their vote in the Sept. 15 Working Families Party primary allegedly requested ballots — they claim they never cast — with an application including a signature bearing no similarities to the one on their voter registration card.Democrats and the WFP claim that it's the GOP who is politicizing the process, which ignores the actual evidence - the fraudulently submitted absentee ballots.
“(Comparing signatures) will eliminate the blatant forgeries that occurred on Primary Day,” said Majority Leader Robert Mirch, also Troy’s public works commissioner, who hired two private investigators to obtain sworn affidavits from the allegedly defrauded voters.
The accusations of fraud made against Democratic and Working Families party operatives and candidates prompted the appointment of a special prosecutor, Trey Smith, to investigate possible criminal charges. They also upped the highly politicized atmosphere on both sides heading into election season.
New York allows candidates to run on multiple lines, and candidates vote tallies are counted from all lines on which they appear. In other words, someone running on the Democrat and WFP lines will be able to add the votes cast under both lines to give them a total.