Grand jury finds numerous instances of ballot fraud in NYC council race on Staten Island

“A Staten Island grand jury has identified numerous instances of ballot harvesting fraud in a race for City Council last year — including a ballot submitted on behalf of a dead person and signature fraud involving dozens of other absentee ballots.

The unprecedented 38-page grand jury report released by Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon called for changes in state election law including requiring official government-issued ID to vote. But it does not specify the race in question, nor does it file criminal charges against anyone.

Sources told The Post that the criminal investigation focused on the campaign of Marko Kepi, who narrowly lost a GOP primary race to Mid-Island Councilman David Carr.

“This case is the poster child for the necessity of voter ID laws. Unfortunately, the real victims here are the hundreds of residents whose identities and votes were stolen. And this will happen again until our state Legislature takes election integrity and security seriously,” said Carr.

The Post previously reported about accusations of ballot harvesting and other fraud allegedly committed by the Kepi campaign, including registering a dead man to vote for him — as a female.

“This Grand Jury finds that an absentee ballot application bearing the forged signature
of a deceased individual was submitted to the Board [of Elections], naming a CANDIDATE 2 campaign staffer, STAFFER 1, as the authorized collector of his absentee ballot,” the report said.

“The deceased individual was a man who passed away in mid-2020. However, in May 2021, the Board processed a voter registration form purportedly signed by him with his pedigree information, including his date of birth and the last four digits of his Social Security number, but identifying his gender as female.”

“These documents are forged. The deceased man did not sign any documents either to re-register to vote or to vote by absentee ballot – let alone to vote using an absentee ballot handled,” the grand jury report said.

Kepi had no immediate comment.

The investigation said the fraud did not affect the outcome of the election, with the elections board rejecting many of fraudulent ballots, but cautions: “We do not know what we do not know” and “the abundant opportunities for unscrupulous candidates … to abuse the system without probable detection or criminal sanction cry out for remedy.” “

Read more here at the New York Post