GOP cries ‘fraud’ at Dem voter regis­tra­tions

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Alex Rose arose@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @arosedelco on Twit­ter

U.S. Rep. Pa­trick Mee­han, R-7, of Chadds Ford, is call­ing out a Demo­crat­i­caligned voter reg­is­tra­tion or­ga­ni­za­tion and the Penn­syl­va­nia De­part­ment of State for al­legedly miss­ing an Oct. 11 dead­line to file nearly 7,000 ap­pli­ca­tions that he said ap­pear to be du­plica­tive or fraud­u­lent as part of a pos­si­ble con­spir­acy.

“That (date) is un­am­bigu­ous, and yet we have lit­er­ally thou­sands of ap­pli­ca­tions that were dumped on Delaware County with no proof of timely fil­ing with re­spect to that date,” said Mee­han dur­ing a news con­fer­ence Thurs­day at the Delaware County Gov­ern­ment Cen­ter Build­ing. “Of the 7,000 that were jammed down the throats of the com­mis­sion here, it is es­ti­mated that close to 3,500 of them have some sort of in­fir­mity … caus­ing the county to send out more than 1,000 ques­tion­naires to peo­ple all over, look­ing for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion to sub­stan­ti­ate their abil­ity to vote.”

The Delaware County Voter Reg­is­tra­tion Com­mis­sion will hold a hear­ing this morn­ing in an at­tempt to de­ter­mine when those forms were ac­tu­ally sub­mit­ted, ac­cord­ing to county So­lic­i­tor Mike Mad­dren. It was un­clear Thurs­day if the com­mis­sion would also delve into the forgery is­sue.

The ap­pli­ca­tions were al­legedly gath­ered by Field­Works LLC and de­liv­ered to the De­part­ment of State, ac­cord­ing to Mee­han. He ques­tioned why a form al­legedly gath­ered in Del-

aware County would be de­liv­ered 100 miles away in Harrisburg.

“The re­quire­ment is that … you send the voter ap­pli­ca­tions to the com­mis­sioner in our county. That’s in the rules. That was not done in this case,” said Mee­han. “Rather, at the last sec­ond, lit­er­ally thou­sands of these ap­pli­ca­tions were not sent to Delaware County and the com­mis­sion, they were sent to the state. They cir­cum­vented the re­quire­ments.”

Delaware County Repub­li­can Party Chair­man Andy Reilly said the county voter reg­is­tra­tion of­fice re­ceived one pack­age of forms from UPS Oct. 14 weigh­ing 1 pound and another Oct. 17 weigh­ing 10 pounds. A re­ceipt for the first pack­age in­di­cates an Oct. 11 trans­ac­tion date and the sec­ond lists Oct. 14 as the date the pack­age was sent.

“We had a num­ber where So­cial Se­cu­rity num­bers or driver’s li­cense num­bers did not match the in­di­vid­ual iden­ti­fied,” said Mad­dren. “We re­ceived 6,300 (forms) on those two dates, close to 900 had that is­sue. Another 2,400 were al­ready reg­is­tered; over 100 listed ad­dresses that don’t ex­ist; 200 to 300 didn’t in­clude vi­tal in­for­ma­tion.”

Reilly, joined by Ch­ester County GOP Chair­man Val DiGior­gio and Spring­field Repub­li­can Party Chair­man Michael Pup­pio, noted many of the regis­tra­tions were filled out in June, July and Au­gust, and asked why the forms were held un­til the last minute and taken to the De­part­ment of State in Harrisburg rather than the lo­cal reg­is­tra­tion com­mis­sion in Me­dia.

When Reilly asked the De­part­ment of State for a re­ceipt or other ma­te­rial show­ing a date stamp for re­ceipt of those ap­pli­ca­tions, he said he was pro­vided two sheets of pa­per from Field­Works that were stamped Oct. 14 by the de­part­ment. Those two forms ap­pear to be dated Oct. 11 by Field­Works, but only ac­count for 871 of the ap­prox­i­mately 6,900 forms re­ceived, he said.

“When the De­part­ment of State for­wards any voter ap­pli­ca­tions to the coun­ties, we at­test to the fact that they were ei­ther post­marked or de­liv­ered in per­son by the reg­is­tra­tion dead­line,” spokes­woman Wanda Mur­ren wrote in an email. “If they were not timely re­ceived or post­marked, we would not send them to any county. The De­part­ment of State re­ceived voter regis­tra­tions from Field­Works by the dead­line and, in ac­cor­dance with the de­part­ment’s usual pro­ce­dures, sent timely re­ceived regis­tra­tions to the ap­pro­pri­ate coun­ties for pro­cess­ing, in­clud­ing Delaware County.”

Penn­syl­va­nia State Po­lice served a search war­rant at the Field­Works of­fice at 510 Ch­ester Pike, Nor­wood, on Oct. 28 seek­ing ev­i­dence of vi­o­la­tions of the Penn­syl­va­nia Elec­tion Code and tam­per­ing with pub­lic records.

Jef­frey A. John­son, act­ing deputy press sec­re­tary for the Penn­syl­va­nia At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s Of­fice, said he can­not com­ment on that in­ves­ti­ga­tion or whether any­one as­so­ci­ated with Field­Works is fac­ing crim­i­nal charges. An af­fi­davit of probable cause ac­com­pa­ny­ing the war­rant has been sealed, ac­cord­ing to Delaware County District At­tor­ney spokes­woman Emily Har­ris.

Field­Works has is­sued a state­ment claim­ing it has a “zero tol­er­ance” pol­icy for fraud and will “work ag­gres­sively with au­thor­i­ties to seek the pros­e­cu­tion of any­one in­volved in wrong­do­ing.”

A spokesman for Field­Works did not re­spond to an email seek­ing com­ment on the new­est de­vel­op­ments Thurs­day.

Mee­han said Thurs­day that the De­part­ment of State would have Delaware County sim­ply in­put the forms and al­low them to vote, but pointed to one woman whose name ap­pears on nine sep­a­rate forms and lists five dif­fer­ent ad­dresses.

“Maybe they’d like to tell us … which of the nine sep­a­rate reg­is­tra­tion forms should we use for (her)?” he said. “Which of the (five) lo­ca­tions – dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions – where she reg­is­tered to vote through this or­ga­ni­za­tion?”

Mem­bers of the press were given copies of that in­di­vid­ual’s mul­ti­ple regis­tra­tions, as well as a packet con­tain­ing 52 forms with pur­port­edly bad ad­dresses. Copies of Voter Reg­is­tra­tion Com­mis­sion mail­ings that had been re­turned in­di­cat­ing the ad­dress does not ex­ist were in­cluded with some names but not oth­ers. In some cases, the ad­dress iden­ti­fied on the pro­vided sum­mary did not match the ac­tual form. One was for a per­son listed on the sum­mary as liv­ing in Up­per Darby, for in­stance, while the ap­pli­ca­tion in­di­cated the per­son lived in Ch­ester. That ad­dress does ex­ist in Ch­ester and no re­turned mail­ing for that in­di­vid­ual was at­tached to the press packet.

None­the­less, those names re­flect only a frac­tion of the al­legedly late or in­suf­fi­cient forms that will be the sub­ject of today’s 9 a.m. hear­ing in the county coun­cil meet­ing room on the first floor of the gov­ern­ment cen­ter.

Reilly said he hopes a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the De­part­ment of State will be present at the hear­ing today to pro­vide more in­for­ma­tion on when the forms came to that of­fice and what au­thor­ity a third-party or­ga­ni­za­tion like Field­Works has to de­liver the forms to that de­part­ment in­stead of the lo­cal voter reg­is­tra­tion of­fice.

Mee­han also said he would send a letter to U.S. At­tor­ney Gen­eral Loretta Lynch re­quest­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into what he deemed “clear crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties” with re­spect to at least a few of the names sub­mit­ted.

While there is clear ev­i­dence of voter reg­is­tra­tion fraud, ac­cord­ing to Reilly, there is still a ques­tion of whether that could or will trans­late to fraud at the polls. Reilly said fake iden­ti­fi­ca­tion would be easy to ac­quire or other is­sues with poll watch­ers could al­low fraud­u­lent vot­ers to slip through.

Pup­pio sug­gested a sim­ple fix might be to al­low any of these vot­ers, if they show up, to vote pro­vi­sion­ally. That would en­sure no one is dis­en­fran­chised if they can be ver­i­fied in that district while keep­ing po­ten­tially fraud­u­lent votes off the books.

ALEX ROSE — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Repub­li­can lead­ers talk about chal­lenges to Demo­cratic voter regis­tra­tions Thurs­day. From left are Ch­ester County GOP leader Val DiGior­gio, U.S. Rep. Pat Mee­han, Delaware County GOP Chair­man Andy Reilly, and Mike Pup­pio, Spring­field GOP leader.

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