Teaching Parents to Commit Vote Fraud

Letter from campaigns unlawfully encourages parents to forge signatures if their kids are away at college.

Republican candidates Mike Fitzpatrick (running in 8th Congressional District) and Rob Ciervo (running in Pennsylvania’s 31st Legislative District) are facing serious new allegations of voter fraud due to a letter they sent to Bucks County residents instructing parents on how to forge ballot applications for kids away at college. Tucked inside a Mike Fitzpatrick for Congress envelope, the letter is written by GOP State House candidate Rob Ciervo and says, “Mike Fitzpatrick and I need your help.” The letter explains the absentee ballot process in case someone is unable to vote in person:

All you need to do is request an absentee ballot with the enclosed application, and when it comes back in the mail, fill it out and send it back.

But what if your kids are away at college? How would they sign the absentee ballot request, as is legally required? Not to worry.

If the application is for a student who will be away in November, be sure to use their college address to ensure they receive the ballot in a timely manner.

More after the jump.
The new revelations that the Fitzpatrick campaign blatantly violated election law surfaced just days after Fitzpatrick tried to accuse his opponent of wrongdoing – despite all factual evidence to the contrary.  

“Well, that’s ironic. While their kids are away in college taking classes, Mike Fitzpatrick is teaching their parents a different kind of lesson: how to commit voter fraud,” said Sara Schaumburg, Murphy’s Communications Director.

Fitzpatrick’s and Ciervo’s actions contribute to a deeply troubling pattern of voting irregularities perpetrated by the Bucks County GOP. Recently, startling revelations surfaced that the Republican-dominated Bucks County Board of Elections has been systematically rejecting absentee ballot requests from Democratic voters. According to recent press accounts, the GOP has rejected over 600 absentee ballot requests, demonstrating a deeply troubling pattern of specifically targeting Democrats for rejection. A staggering eighty-two percent of the rejected requests were from Democratic voters asking for their absentee ballot. In other words, the Republicans in charge of protecting Bucks County residents’ voting rights rejected six Democrats for every Republican absentee ballot request.

In response, the Pennsylvania Democratic State Party has filed charges against the GOP Board for illegal voter suppression.

This isn’t the first time that the Bucks County GOP has worked to disenfranchise voters, as laid out in the PA Democrat’s release.

  • In 2008, the Bucks County Board of Election relocated a minority serving polling location, a move that led to a lawsuit from concerned voters. [Philadelphia Inquirer, September 28, 2008]
  • Across the state, Pennsylvania Republicans have engaged in widespread efforts to intimidate and disenfranchise voters. In 2004, Republicans tried to relocate 63 Philadelphia polling places, mostly in Democratic and minority serving areas. [Philadelphia Daily News, October 18, 2004]
  • In 2004, Republicans tried to challenge tens of thousands of voters in Philadelphia, a desperate move that was condemned by a legal counsel to the Republican City Committee who said Republicans were being “chicken littles.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, October 25, 2004]
  • In 2008, Republicans attempted to institute a “dress code” for voters. Republican Party Chairman Rob Gleason worried that voters could wear “musical hats” to the polls. This move was clearly targeted at intimidating voters. [AP, October 5, 2008]