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Voter fraud is nothing new, but that doesn’t mean we should accept it as part of the election process.
A free society depends on free and fair elections. As our country strays away from its roots as a constitutional republic, the need to focus on election integrity becomes more vital.
A former county elections commissioner in New York state has been caught in a ballot fraud scheme and has pleaded guilty.
His crime? Applying for absentee ballots in the names of registered NY voters.
The FBI arrested Jason Schofield of Troy, NY earlier this year due to his involvement in an absentee ballot fraud scheme.
The charges included unlawfully using the names and birthdates of voters in Rensselaer County in 2021 to apply for absentee ballots.
He was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel J. Stewart.
According to Fox News, “Jason Schofield, who is from Troy, resigned last month from the Rensselaer County Board of Elections.”
“He admitted that in 2021 he unlawfully used the names and birthdates of voters in connection with 12 absentee ballot applications that he submitted electronically to the New York State Voter Absentee Ballot Application Request Portal, according to federal prosecutors.”
Though he maintained his innocence at his arraignment in September, “Schofield, 43, admitted he falsely certified that he was the voter requesting each of the absentee ballots.”
“Schofield is scheduled to be sentenced on May 12. He faces up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and supervised release of up to three years for each count,” the Fox News report added.
“He is accused of unlawfully possessing and using the names and dates of birth of voters in connection with absentee ballot applications that he submitted to a New York State Board of Elections website in 2021. The indictment alleges that Schofield applied for absentee ballots in the names of people who had no interest in voting in 2021 and did not request absentee ballots or Schofield’s assistance in voting or obtaining absentee ballots.”
“In some of these instances, the indictment explained, Schofield also took possession of the absentee ballots issued to these voters, brought them to voters, and had them sign absentee ballot envelopes without actually voting. This allegedly allowed Schofield or another person to cast votes in these voters’ names in Rensselaer County’s 2021 primary and general elections,” according to the report.
“If convicted, Schofield would face up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of post-imprisonment supervised release of up to 3 years on each of the 12 counts,” the report continued.
It’s obvious that absentee and mail-in ballots are prime avenues for fraudulent voting activities but these methods are not going away.
There has to be proper oversight to ensure the voters that our elections are legitimate.
Voters are feeling more and more disenfranchised with every election. Voter integrity needs to be a priority as we look toward 2024.
The Heritage Foundation