A grand jury in Troy, N.Y., is investigating allegations that city officials blatantly colluded to commit voter fraud by forging ballots in the 2009 Working Families Party primary for local and county elections.
The grand jury has subpoenaed some 14 witnesses, according to local news reports. The witnesses, who testified this week, included residents whose names were used on absentee ballots in the primary but who say they never requested an absentee ballot nor voted.
City council members and other officials also testified.
The grand jury investigation is centered on two defendants, Councilman Michael LoPorto and Rensselaer County Democratic Elections Commissioner Edward McDonough. The men are accused of forging dozens ballots in the primary, often using the names of people who live in government housing projects.
They are only two of nine potential targets in the case, including other officials and political operatives.
One of those targets is Anthony DeFiglio, a former Troy Housing Authority clerk. According to the Times-Union, DeFiglio has told prosecutors that the ballot rigging was a ”normal political tactic.”
“To political insiders in the county what appears as a huge conspiracy to non-political persons is really a normal political tactic that went out of control,” DeFiglio said in a statement to investigators. DeFiglio testified before the grand jury this week.
Conservative bloggers and Fox News have tried to link the scandal to ACORN, noting that the now-defunct organization’s CEO, Bertha Lewis, was a founding co-chair of the party.
The Times-Union has plenty more on the case here.