By Ryan Saavedra
United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced on Thursday that Domenick J. DeMuro, a Judge of Elections in Philadelphia, has been charged with and pleaded guilty to stuffing ballot boxes over the course of several years with fraudulent votes for Democrat candidates in federal, state, and local elections.
“During his guilty plea hearing, DeMuro admitted that an unnamed political consultant gave DeMuro directions and paid him money to illegally add votes for certain Democratic candidates,” the Department of Justice said in a statement. “These candidates were individuals running for judicial office whose campaigns had hired the consultant, as well as other candidates for various federal, state, and local elective offices who were preferred by this consultant for a variety of reasons.”
The statement said that DeMuro pleaded guilty to “a two-count Information charging (1) conspiracy to deprive Philadelphia voters of their civil rights by fraudulently stuffing the ballot boxes for specific Democratic candidates in the 2014, 2015, and 2016 primary elections, and (2) a violation of the Travel Act, which forbids the use of any facility in interstate commerce (here, a cell phone) with the intent to promote certain illegal activity (here, bribery).”
In announcing the charges, McSwain highlighted the responsibilities of DeMuro’s role, which primarily centered around “overseeing the entire election process and voter activities of his or her division” and ensuring that election results are accurate and untainted.
“Our election system relies on the honesty and the integrity of its election officials,” McSwain said. “If they are corrupt, the system is corrupt, which creates opportunities for election fraud and unfortunately the counting of fake votes. Domenick DeMuro did not uphold his duties as an election official.”
“After receiving payments ranging from between $300 and $5,000 per election from the consultant, DeMuro would add fraudulent votes on the voting machines, also known as ringing up votes, for the consultant’s clients and preferred candidates thereby diluting and distorting the ballots that were cast by actual voters,” McSwaincontinued. “DeMuro would add these fraudulent votes to the totals during election day and then he would later falsely certify that the voting machine results were accurate. He would add the fraudulent votes by literally standing in the voting booth and voting over and over and over again as fast as he could when he thought that the coast was clear.”
“In May 2014, DeMuro stuffed the ballot box with 27 fraudulent ballots during the primary election. In May 2015, he padded the ballot box with 40 fraudulent votes. In 2016, it was 46 fraudulent votes,” McSwain said. “Now these numbers may sound relatively small, but they made up a significant percentage of the total votes that were cast at the polling place. In 2014, 118 total ballots were reported in the 36th Division of the 39th Ward. That means that DeMuro’s fraudulent votes accounted for over 22% of the total voting in that division in 2014. In 2015, his fraud accounted for over 15% of the total votes in the division. In 2016, his fraud accounted for over 17% of the votes.”
The news comes as Democrats across the country are pushing for mass-scale mail-in voting for the upcoming elections. Many top officials have serious concerns about mail-in voting due to the opportunity that it allegedly creates for fraud.
Between 2012 and 2018, 28.3 million mail-in ballots remain unaccounted for, according to data from the federal Election Assistance Commission. The missing ballots amount to nearly one in five of all absentee ballots and ballots mailed to voters residing in states that do elections exclusively by mail.
States and local authorities simply have no idea what happened to these ballots since they were mailed – and the figure of 28 million missing ballots is likely even higher because some areas in the country, notably Chicago, did not respond to the federal agency’s survey questions.
Watchdog groups say that the sheer volume of unaccounted for mail-in ballots create serious concerns about election security and being able to guarantee that elections are conducted with integrity.
In 2018, Texas law enforcement officials arrested several women for allegedly targeting elderly voters in 2016 in a “voter fraud ring” that was funded by a Democratic Party leader.