Election fraud alert!
An employee of the Nassau County Board of Elections has been accused of writing eight fake addresses on campaign forms in 2009, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice’s office announced Tuesday. Imtiaz Insanally, 27, of Valley Stream, is alleged to have used the fake addresses on a petition to add Republican Christian Browne to the ballot on the Tax Revolt Party line. Browne was running for County Legislator in the Fifth Legislative District.
Insanally was arrested Tuesday, and charged with one felony count of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree and one misdemeanor count of misconduct in relation to petitions.
Insanally, who the DA says was working as a campaign volunteer for Browne, allegedly wrote the fake addresses next to names that were illegible. The addresses he wrote do not exist. Insanally is currently employed as a part-time clerk for the Nassau County Board of Elections, in the election machine department, a job he’s held since 2006.
“Whether you’re talking about a highly sophisticated case of systemic corruption or something as simple as this case, they are both violations of the public’s trust and of our democratic process, and my office will continue to have no tolerance for that,” Rice said.
In 2009, county Republicans withdrew the petition to add Browne to the Tax Revolt Party line after Democrats challenged the petition’s validity in court, according to The Long Island Herald. Democrats claimed that that more than half of the 1,300 signatures were fraudulent. County Democrats later withdrew a lawsuit that accused Browne himself of fraud, citing the fact that Browne did not sign the petition in question. Browne then withdrew a defamation lawsuit against the Democratic election worker who had brought the charges. Browne lost the election to Democrat Joseph Scannell.
“He was not affiliated with my campaign,” Browne told the Herald after news of Insanally’s arrest. “I don’t really know him. He was working for the Republican committee. I hope he didn’t do anything wrong. If he did and the district attorney has evidence of any wrongdoing, then he will have to bear the consequences of his actions.”
Claims of widespread voter fraud were en vogue in conservative circles before the election, even if actual examples of fraud turned out to be hard to come by.
Insanally faces up to four years in prison.
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com