As we draw close to important midterm elections, the integrity of the election process is in question. Google “ballot tampering” or “election fraud,” and you will pull up more than 600,000 search results. A former congressional Representative’s Wednesday guilty plea to bribery and falsification of voting records muddy the water even more.
The guilty plea comes from Michael Myers, 79, a former Democratic Representative for Pennsylvania. According to The Epoch Times, Myers “admitted to bribing an election judge in Philadelphia, Domenick Demuro, to illegally add votes for certain candidates, including candidates for federal and state offices.”
The Times reports that Myers and Demuro worked together to support the Democratic Party, receiving payments from the candidates in exchange for manipulating the vote count. Money was sent to Myers who then forwarded a portion of the funds to Demuro.
“The judge of elections for the 39th Ward, 36th Division in South Philadelphia would then add fraudulent votes for Myers’s clients,” reports the Times.
A statement from the Department of Justice adds:
“At Myers’s direction, Demuro would add these fraudulent votes to the totals during Election Day, and then would later falsely certify that the voting machine results were accurate.”
The fraud reportedly began during the 2014 election cycle and carried on through 2018.
Myers also admitted to conspiring to commit fraud with Marie Beren, another election judge in the 39th Ward (2nd Division). Myers has reportedly admitted to directing Beren to add votes to certain candidates.
Demuro pleaded guilty in 2020 to several charges, including depriving people of civil rights and bribery. Demuro was scheduled to be sentenced on June 30, 2020, but sentencing has repeatedly been postponed. Sentencing is currently scheduled for June 14.
Beren, also a Democrat, pleaded guilty in 2021. The details of her case are sealed, though it is known her sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 16.
Scrambling to appear to want to address the problem, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Jennifer Williams, a Biden appointee, issued this statement:
“Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy. If even one vote has been illegally cast or if the integrity of just one election official is compromised, it diminishes faith in process. Votes are not things to be purchased and democracy is not for sale. If you are a political consultant, election official, or work with the polling places in any way, I urge you to do your job honestly and faithfully. That is what the public deserves and what the federal government will enforce.”
Jacqueline Maguire, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division explained:
“One thing you can say about Ozzie Myers: his values have long been out of whack,” and added, “Decades ago, he valued a fake sheikh’s bribes more than the ethical obligations of his elected federal office. This time around, he valued his clients’ money and his own whims more than the integrity of multiple elections and the will of Philadelphia voters. Free and fair elections are critical to the health of our democracy, which is why protecting the legitimacy of the electoral process at every level is such a priority for the FBI.”
Myers entered Congress in 1976 but was expelled in 1980 after he was found guilty of taking a bribe from undercover FBI agents.
Myers will be sentenced on September 27. He faces up to 60 years in prison and a fine of $1.25 million.
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