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Phila City Commissioner Releases Voter Fraud Report

Republican City Commissioner Al Schmidt found several cases of voting irregularities in Philadelphia, and said his findings warrant further investigation.

Voter fraud has been a hot topic in the state since Pennsylvania became the ninth in the nation to pass a Voter ID law with a stringent photo requirement.

The question everyone asks is – is it a real problem, or a Republican myth?

After House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) inadvertently suggested that the Voter ID law was designed not to combat voter fraud, but to benefit the GOP politically, the debate became even more intense.

The latest comes from Republican City Commissioner Al Schmidt, whose report suggests that voter fraud may be a bigger issue than previously thought.

He said he’s found “hundreds of cases of voting irregularities that warrant further investigation,” including instances of non-registered voters casting ballots non-citizens voting, voters casting multiple ballots and voter impersonation.

Schmidt told The Public Record he found seven types of voter irregularities, including voting by non-registered individuals, voters who cast their ballot in the wrong party’s primary, more votes than voters, individuals voting more than once, voter impersonation and voting by non-U.S. citizens.

So what risk do these types of voting fraud pose for Philadelphia?

“Voting irregularities present a risk to the integrity of elections in Philadelphia County. Our core mission, to run honest elections, is undermined by illegal voting practices that alter election results and have the potential to change the outcome of close elections,” Schmidt said to the Public Record.

However, Schmidt made sure to note in an interview with the Philadelphia Daily News’ blog, Philly Clout, that the report was only but a “snapshot” of voting problems and clarified that that his report was not related to the passage of Voter ID law.

Schmidt, the sole Republican member of the three-person body, said said his office worked independently on the report and did not involve the other two Dem commissioners.

Democratic Commissioner Chair Stephanie Singer told Philly Clout said the report had only limited examples and years-old data.

“I don’t know why he has put his name on a report like this, which seems like a stunt to manipulate the press,” she said.

To combat the voting fraud he found, Schmidt suggested running an investigation of voting irregularities after each election, complete with a report for the public, and working with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to develop ways to identify voter registrations of non-citizens.

State Republican Party Chairman Rob Gleason issued a statement on the report Wednesday, calling its findings “beyond alarming.”

“This conversation isn’t about disenfranchising Democrats or Republicans; it’s about protecting everyone’s fundamental right to vote, and the fact that we now know just how rampant voter fraud could potentially be, all political parties should come together to protect the sanctity of our process,” he said.

“The Commissioner’s report should silence all those partisans and pundits who have been saying that there are no cases of voter fraud. I hope all of them would read the report and join all those in favor of fair elections.”

12 Responses

  1. I have received a card informing me that I am to vote at Tyson Avenue and Hawthorne Streets. Which is located in Mayfair. Why would I vote in Mayfair when I live in South Philadelphia?
    I expect a reply to this email or my next stop will be the media. You have until 11AM,November 3,2014 to respond.

  2. Fact: all republican reps were booted out of 14 wards in Philly during the election. Fact: in these wards 100% of the vote went to Obama. And that is voter fraud in just Philly. If democrats would have been booted out by republcans, you bet they would be crying and for good reason, it’s ILLEAGAL! any true concerned citizen of either party should be upset by this, why hasn’t the republican govenor started an investigation??? something stinks in Philly and it’s not the cream cheese….

  3. Mary, your vote is “wiped out” the minute someone goes into the voting booth and votes for the opponent of the guy you just voted for. I hope this revelation doesn’t upset you.

  4. If you have ever audited anything as a professional, then you know that identifying fraud is most difficult when there is collusion, which would be people working together to commit fraud. So, will a voter ID law solve all forms of fraud? No. People working the booths will need to be willing to follow the law. They need to be not filing fraudulent votes themselves. The whole system is one which relys on honesty. Unfortunately, there have always been, and will always be dishonest people. But why should our votes all be wiped out by theirs?

  5. Wow, what a misleading headline!

    Here’s how it was reported on CBS-Philly. This is what was said: Philadelphia’s Top GOP Election Official ALLEGED Widespread Voter Fraud in City, “The sole Republican among Philadelphia’s three-member city commissioners (the group that runs elections) today issued a scathing report about the May primary in the city, alleging a wide range of voting irregularities. … But he conceded that without a top-to-bottom review of the voting books, he does not really know how widespread the problems are.”

    The operative word being ALLEGED!

    I also would like to know, where the Atty General was while all of this ALLEGED voter fraud was going on. If it was as blatant as this article reports and implies, why was legal action not initiated by the Atty General, to address, resolve and prosecute this ALLEGED voter fraud?

    All the Photo ID Law, and this article, accomplishes is to highlight inaction by Atty General, if in fact such fraud actually existed. If it cannot be validated, prosecuted and proven, why is this even a story, and why was there a need for the Photo ID Law?

  6. Even if this report isn’t one man’s fantasy, most of what he’s talking about won’t be helped by Voter ID. More confusion tactics by the GOP.

    I doubt any of it is real, though. If it is, where was Attorney General Corbett while all this was going on? (We know he wasn’t busy pursuing known child molesters, that’s for sure!)

  7. The only voter fraud occurring now is the disenfranchisement of 750,000 Pennsylvania citizens.

    This was a half-@ssed justification by on of Gleason and corbetts flunkies.

  8. First of all, I would put more weight on this report if he didn’t essentially do it himself. He was clearly out to prove something which means he started from a point of bias, which doesn’t lend a ton of credibility to his report.
    Second, to commenter, “PAINDY1”: In the world of the internet, using all capital letters is the equivalent of yelling at a person. In addition to be difficult to read over long stretches, they are a little rude and they make it difficult to take you seriously. I completely agree that the Voter ID Law is despicable and that it discriminates against the elderly just for starters. Still, however angry this issue makes us we must remember that people screaming at each other never solved anyone’s problems.
    Finally, to commenter “sweatyfederalist”: Correlation does not equal causation. Look it up.

  9. That’s not a report. A report details factual findings after an investigation. Why is this even a story?

  10. Would anyone be surprised to find a strong, positive correlation between a city’s voter fraud and murder rates?

    Anyone in academia willing to take that on? [….sound of crickets…..]


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