D.A. Seth Williams Charges Four With 2014 Election Fraud
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams wants poll workers on Election Day to know that his office takes election fraud very seriously, and so he’s sent a timely message to them, charging these poll workers with a variety of election law violations.
The charges stem from their alleged activities at the polling place inside Hancock Recreation Center in Fishtown during last November’s general election. According to Williams, the defendants tampered with at least one voting machine in order to add six votes. And three of them resided outside of the division in which they were working the polls — another no-no.
Williams says that they added the votes because the numbers didn’t add up. When voters arrive at a polling place, they have to sign in. And at the end of the day, once all the numbers were tallied, the number of votes was six less than the number of signatures. So, they simply added more votes to the machines, according to Williams.
More on the defendants:
- Election judge Sandra Lee, 60, has been charged with repeat voting at elections, tampering with public records, fraud by election officers, conspiracy, failure to perform duty, and obstructing law enforcement, among other charges.
- Machine inspector Gregory Thomas, 60, has been charged with repeat voting at elections, tampering with public records, fraud by election officers, conspiracy, failure to perform duty, and obstructing law enforcement, among other charges.
- Inspector Alexia Harding, 22, has been charged with false swearing, unsworn falsification to authorities, and one other offense.
- Inspector James Collins, 71, as been charged with repeat voting at elections, tampering with public records, fraud by election officers, conspiracy, failure to perform duty, and obstructing law enforcement, among other charges.
The investigation had been ongoing since at least February, when a detective spoke with a poll watcher who witnessed the alleged malfeasance. According to investigators, Collins held the voting machine curtain open while Thomas was behind the machine. Then, Collins allegedly registered the extra votes. This was after the doors were locked and the polls had closed. Investigators examined the cartridge and say that it confirmed what the poll watcher had reported.
“There’s no legally justifiable reason to vote multiple times and you cannot falsely certify that you live in a particular ward and division in order to work the polls and collect a check,” said District Attorney Seth Williams in a statement. “Our democracy rests on free and fair elections, but it also relies on the fact that they are conducted properly, which is why these four individuals deserve to be arrested for what they did.”
All of the defendants were arrested on Monday and are being held on $5,000 bail. Their next hearing is scheduled for May 26th at 9 a.m. They each collected $125 for their services that day.