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Voter fraud is not an issue

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Elections - POLITICS

Voter fraud 'a normal political tactic' in upstate NY city

By Eric Shawn

 

Published January 17, 2012

| FoxNews.com

 

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Michael LoPorto arrived at the Rensselaer County Courthouse in Troy, N.Y. on Tuesday for his trial, which accuses him of being part of a “massive” voter fraud scheme.

 

The former Democratic city councilman and popular local restaurant owner appeared jaunty and relaxed as he answered a series of questions from Fox News -- despite facing felony allegations that could send him to prison for seven years.

 

"Did you do anything wrong?"

 

"No."

 

"Did you forge any absentee ballots?"

 

"No, I did not."

 

"Did you steal an election, or try to steal one?"

 

"Again, you asked me that before, I told you no!"

 

For a year now, LoPorto has steadfastly maintained his innocence, along with current Rensselaer County Democratic Elections Commissioner Edward McDonough, who refused to comment on the case Tuesday. They are the first indicted officials to be tried in a widespread investigation that has implicated eight Democrats, including county and city elected officials and party operatives. Four defendants have already pleaded guilty to a variety of charges, and what has already unfolded exposes just how easy it could be for political insiders to illegally manipulate the electoral system.

 

Voters told Fox News they never filled out absentee ballot applications for the 2009 Working Families Party primary, and were later stunned to learn the applications were, in fact, turned in to the Board of Elections, with ballots cast in their names. Democratic candidates routinely try to secure the Working Families electoral line to obtain more votes in the general election. The party was associated with the now-defunct community group ACORN.

 

"Jackals prey upon the weakest member of the herd. That's what happened here," LoPorto's attorney Michael Feit said of the guilty pleas in which former officials admitted forging ballot applications and submitting them as legitimate votes.

 

Feit concedes "there is no question" that someone tried to steal the election. "It is awful, it's despicable, it's terrible," he added.

 

But he insists his client was not a part of what happened, noting neither LoPorto's DNA nor fingerprints were found on any of the allegedly faked applications. Forgery charges were dropped against LoPorto before the trial began, leaving 29 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument.

 

“There is no proof, in my view, that will show ... that he knew that what he possessed was a forged instrument," said Feit, referring to the allegedly faked absentee ballot applications. "Michael LoPorto is not 'a good 'ol boy.' He’s not been a politician all his life. He doesn’t rely on a political job to support himself and his family. He, in fact, got the most votes in this election. He didn't need to rig any election."

 

McDonough’s attorney, Brian Premo, has said in court papers that his client “asserted his innocence” and has called the proceedings “a wrongful scapegoat investigation and prosecution.” McDonough faces 74 counts of forgery and criminal possession of a forged instrument.

 

Two veteran Democratic political operatives in Troy said voter fraud is an accepted way of winning elections, and faking absentee ballots was commonplace.

 

Anthony DeFiglio, a Democratic Committeeman who pleaded guilty to falsifying business records, told state police investigators that such fraud is actually "an ongoing scheme and it occurs on both sides of the aisle. The people who are targeted live in low-income housing and there is a sense that they are a lot less likely to ask any questions... What appears as a huge conspiracy to nonpolitical persons is really a normal political tactic."

 

Anthony Renna, another longtime Democratic operative and party committeeman, admitted to forging an absentee ballot application. He said the process of handing in forged ballots and fake votes ensures that "ballots are voted correctly."

 

"I knew that the actual voters had not voted the ballots or signed the envelopes, but that did not concern me. I am not the ballot police," Renna said in a statement to police. "I have been present when 'ballots were voted correctly' by party operatives. Voted correctly is a term used for a forged application or ballot."

 

According to transcripts, Renna said, “I have been asked if I ever discuss forging ballots/applications with anyone and whether any ballots/applications were ever forged in front of me. The answer is no, because if two people know a secret, it is one too many. There is a saying in politics, 'I can't rob a bank with you.' This saying refers to someone who can't be trusted."

 

DeFiglio, through his family, declined an opportunity to comment to Fox News. Renna also declined to comment.

 

"It shakes the confidence of the voters when they see something like this happened," said former Troy Mayor Harry Tutunjian, who recently left office and is now a Republican member of the county legislature. "We want to encourage people to get out and vote and express their democracy. But if they see their right to vote being taken away by others, they are going to be hesitant and think that their vote isn't worth anything,"

 

Special Prosecutor Trey Smith obtained indictments against a slew of public officials, including former City Council President Clem Campana, City Clerk William McInerney, and two city councilmen besides LoPorto, John Brown and Gary Galuski. Campana and Galuski have pleaded not guilty.

 

Brown, who pleaded guilty to possession of a forged instrument, could go to jail for six months. LoPorto, who ran for re-election last November as the Working Families Party candidate, was defeated.

 

McDonough remains at the Board of Elections.

 

"Vigilance on our level as elected officials in the city of Troy, and the county and even state level, can make sure that things like this don’t happen in the future," said Tutunjian, who hopes “the trial's beginning will help put a resolution to this ugly chapter in Troy's history."

 

As for LoPorto, he had a simple message for reporters as he stood in the courthouse: “I hope I get vindicated.”

 

Meredith Orban and Tamara Gitt contributed to this report. If you suspect voter or election fraud where you live, tell us: Voterfraud@Foxnews.com

 

 

 

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/01/17/voter-fraud-normal-political-tactic-in-upstate-ny-city/#ixzz1jm8GzGUl

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And, wonder of wonders, all those indicted were Rensslear Co Democrats.

 

Two are being tried now and the other 6 are awaiting trial dates to be set. They all have been looked at by the Co. Grand Jury.

 

Voter fraud may be a myth in Fargo, ND because everyone is related, but just about anywhere there is a Democrat Committee VF has had a toe hold.

 

In 2009 in Renn. Co It got both legs deeply into the process.

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I have heard from NC citizens reports like this:

 

I tried to get into Precinct X as a republican poll watcher, allowed by law. I was told to get lost by the Dems at the Poll. I said I would go talk to the Sheriff about it. They said fine feel free and laughed, knowing the Sheriff was a dem. as well.

 

You have to wonder sometime if we are very far progressed from nobility and serfs.

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OK......lets try this again - faked applications do not equate to voter fraud. Does voter fraud exist? Of course. Is it worth taking power away from individual states and mandating total Federal control? Of course not.

 

This is a crap issue.

 

Next......

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OK......lets try this again - faked applications do not equate to voter fraud. Does voter fraud exist? Of course. Is it worth taking power away from individual states and mandating total Federal control? Of course not.

This is a crap issue.

Next......

 

Voter fraud can consist of multiple actions from fraudulent registration (faked applications) right up to the stuffing of ballot boxes. It's a flipping crime for good reason and anybody downplaying the seriousness of it should be held highly suspect.

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Voter fraud can consist of multiple actions from fraudulent registration (faked applications) right up to the stuffing of ballot boxes. It's a flipping crime for good reason and anybody downplaying the seriousness of it should be held highly suspect.

 

OMG! Help! I'm being held HIGHLY SUSPECT!!!! :shock:

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this is a crime and I am glad these guys are being prosecuted

 

 

 

they were dems

 

 

as is the special prosecutor

 

 

 

 

just enforce the laws and make sure folk understand it is a crime, if you read the quotes, these guys never considered what they were doing to be wrong.

 

 

 

we don't need a federal id voting system,

 

 

we just need to uphold the laws on the books.

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Voter fraud means that an actual attempt was made to cast a vote, "Donny-boy." Not some A-whole trying to make a buck by scaming his boss.

 

Oh, the horse crap is piled hight tonight - "Republicans don't do that"......sure they don't. ;)

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And, wonder of wonders, all those indicted were Rensslear Co Democrats.

Two are being tried now and the other 6 are awaiting trial dates to be set. They all have been looked at by the Co. Grand Jury.

Voter fraud may be a myth in Fargo, ND because everyone is related, but just about anywhere there is a Democrat Committee VF has had a toe hold.

In 2009 in Renn. Co It got both legs deeply into the process.

 

RJ......you're telling me that republicans aren't caught up in this?????

 

That's pretty rich.

 

 

Like I said - It's a crap issue.

 

SHOW ME A GA-DAMN ACTUAL FRAUDULENT VOTE!

 

Not a filled out registration form, then - you got something.

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Voter fraud means that an actual attempt was made to cast a vote, "Donny-boy." Not some A-whole trying to make a buck by scaming his boss.

Oh, the horse crap is piled hight tonight - "Republicans don't do that"......sure they don't. ;)

 

How about we call it electoral fraud? Is it a big deal then?

 

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RJ......you're telling me that republicans aren't caught up in this?????

That's pretty rich.

Like I said - It's a crap issue.

SHOW ME A GA-DAMN ACTUAL FRAUDULENT VOTE!

Not a filled out registration form, then - you got something.

 

How about a definition from USLegal.com?

 

Electoral fraud refers to is illegal interference with the process of an election. The definition of the term varies from country to country. Generally it includes illegal voter registration, intimidation at polls and improper vote counting. Even though technically the term 'electoral fraud' covers only illegal acts, the term is also used to describe acts morally unacceptable, outside the spirit of electoral laws or in violation of the principles of democracy.

 

Electoral fraud is also termed voter fraud.

 

Play close attention to the the last, bolded sentence of their definition..

 

This makes you full of poop..

 

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