Tactical Roundup No. 1
Staying on top of the tactics used to steal elections is an important task. In this series, cases from Texas and around the country are briefly highlighted to expose methods used to manipulate elections.
This week, a Hoboken, New Jersey man pleaded guilty to participating in a voter bribery scheme, that included paying for votes. He’s the third of five to plead guilty in this case which is interesting for a couple of reasons.
The complaint, brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges that a woman promised voters $50 if they applied for and voted a mail-in ballot. The voters were instructed to apply for a ballot, which, once received, harvesters from the campaign would collect. The harvester would either confirm the votes were correctly cast or vote the ballot for the voter.
Here’s the interesting bit, before paying, harvesters had voters sign declarations stating they had worked for the campaign. Of course, most of the voters never worked for the campaign. This ploy by the harvesters, a move aimed at circumventing the appearance that a vote was bought is a fraud.
In this election, voters were not simply voting for one candidate but a slate of candidates and a rent control referendum. One of the candidates, a developer, ran a PAC that was working to loosen rent control laws in the town.
This case highlights an issue prevalent in elections where oversight and control of ballots are lost by the use of mail-in ballots. In New Jersey, anyone can vote by mail and can register to do so for life. In Texas, only the disabled, elderly (65+), those traveling out of the county on the day of the election or confined to jail but eligible to vote are allowed to vote by mail.
We know that paying for votes happens in Texas, a perversion of our democratic process that needs to be exposed and stopped. If you are aware of money being offered or were offered money for your vote in an election we’re interested in hearing your story drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.