Politics

FLASHBACK: Two Democrats Charged With Inflating Democratic Votes In Philadelphia Months Ago

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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President Donald Trump’s campaign continues to claim that there is fraud, without evidence, as vote counting continues, especially in Philadelphia. While officials deny the claims, there have been previous incidents involving voter fraud in the city before.

A former judge of elections and Democratic committee person from South Philadelphia, Domenick Demuro, pleaded guilty in March to accepting thousands of dollars in bribes to boost the vote totals for Democratic candidates in 2014, 2015 and 2016, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Demuro admitted that a political consultant bribed him to add fraudulent voters for Democratic candidates running for judge positions. It’s unclear if any of the candidates won their elections. The consultant then took the fees from the candidates and used the money to pay Election Board officials, including Demuro. Demuro pleaded guilty to “conspiring to deprive persons of civil rights” and bribery charges.

“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 of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania said, according to the DOJ.  “This is utterly reprehensible conduct. The charges announced today do not erase what he did, but they do ensure that he is held to account for those actions.”

Former U.S. Congressman from Philadelphia Michael “Ozzie” Myers was charged in July with conspiring with Demuro to violate voting rights by stuffing ballots boxes for Democratic candidates in 2014, 2015 and 2016, per the DOJ.

Trump’s director of Election Day operations, Mike Roman, tweeted a video Tuesday of a poll watcher being turned away at a Philadelphia facility, claiming “the steal is on!”

A spokesperson for the Philadelphia City Commissioners said there’s no evidence that the issue is widespread and that eventually the poll watcher was let in, according to Politico. (RELATED: Trump Team’s Allegations Of Widespread Fraud Are Not Supported By Their Own Lawsuits)

“It was an honest misunderstanding. The poll watcher, I’m told, his certificate had a different ward and division on it that the ward and division of the polling place he was trying to get into.”

Pennsylvania appellate court Judge Christine Fizzano ordered Thursday that the Trump campaign must be allowed to observe the remaining ballot process.