Thursday, July 29, 2010

State Police Investigating Voter Fraud In Rensselaer County

The investigation relates to charges of voter fraud and submitting fraudulent ballots in a September 2009 primary election in Rensselaer County County, New York (just outside Albany). It includes Troy city council members and several Democratic party operatives.
State Police investigators have obtained a court order that seeks DNA samples from nine people, including several Rensselaer County and city of Troy public officials, who are identified as targets in a massive voter-fraud conspiracy that took place during last September's primary elections.

Court records filed in connection with the investigation include allegations that the officials, and several political operatives for the Rensselaer County Democratic Party, may have conspired to file dozens of fraudulent absentee ballots last year in an attempt to seize the Working Families Party line for the general election.

The officials identified as targets of the investigation are: Rensselaer County Board of Elections Commissioner Edward G. McDonough; city Councilmen Michael LoPorto, Gary Galuski, Kevin McGrath, and John Brown; City Council President Clem Campana; City Clerk William A. McInerney; and political operatives Dan Brown, who is John Brown's brother, and Anthony DeFiglio, a former Troy Housing Authority clerk.

State Police characterized the targets as "active participants in the conspiracy," according to court records.

The suspects were identified in an order signed Tuesday by Albany County Judge Stephen W. Herrick. The application for a search warrant to obtain their DNA samples included hundreds of pages of ballots, witness and voter statements, and an affidavit by a State Police investigator. A hearing on the request for DNA samples has been set for Sept. 14.

The alleged voter fraud was first reported last year by the Times Union.

The victims include dozens of residents of city housing projects, all registered to vote on the Working Families Party line, who had absentee ballots filed in their name that included forged information, including signatures and the excuses for why they could not vote in person.
DeFiglio admits to participating in the fraud according to state police sources. Investigators are seeking DNA evidence to corroborate handwriting evidence showing that signatures were forged.

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