A North Philadelphia election worker pleaded guilty to election fraud in connection to a 2017 special election for a state House seat in the city, WPHT-TV reported.
What was the sentence?
Thurman George, 59, a machine inspector at Poll 43-7, was sentenced to five years probation and cannot vote for four years, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro told WPHT.
George and three other election workers were accused of harassment and intimidation against voters who wanted to vote for candidates other than the ones promoted by the city’s Democratic Party, the TV station reported.
Minority inspector Calvin Mattox previously pleaded guilty to not meeting the qualifications of election officers for living outside the district in which he was working.
Dolores Shaw, the judge of election at Poll 43-7, received an accelerated rehabilitative disposition for compromising the local election board, according to the report.
A pre-trial conference for Wallace Hill, a bilingual translator, is scheduled for June 6.
“My job is to uphold Pennsylvania law to ensure free and fair elections,” Shapiro said. “We are drawing a clear line – during a time when the integrity of our country’s elections are being questioned – the sanctity of ‘one person, one vote’ must and will be upheld here in Pennsylvania.”
What is the background?
In October, the four suspects were charged with election fraud relating to the special election for the 197th District state House seat in North Philadelphia, WPHT reported.
Although fewer than 3,000 votes were cast in the special election, it generated more legal action than most general elections, the report stated.
Part of the controversy stemmed from a challenge to a Democratic candidate’s residency that led to his removal from the ballot. Emilio Vazquez, his replacement was forced to run a write-in campaign. So did several others, including including Green Party candidate Cheri Honkala, according to the report.
Honkala and Republican Lucinda Little maintained that poll workers ran interference for Vazquez, who won the race. They filed a federal suit to overturn the results, the report stated. Then, Shapiro and District Attorney Kelly Hodge filed charges against all election officials in an entire division.