Bucks County’s District Attorney David Heckler says the voter fraud investigation surrounding Patrick Murphy’s failed 2010 Congressional re-election bid continues despite being put on the back-burner by more pressing recent cases.
Murphy is currently running to be the Attorney General of Pennsylvania. That’s great, because when I want to hire the chief law enforcement officer of a state, I look to a guy with a cloud of voter fraud allegations hanging over his head.
“Obviously, when we have homicides and various other things that trumps what you’re doing and things can get sidetracked,” Heckler said Friday. “But the investigation is in progress.”
The case centers on 1,600 absentee ballot applications challenged by the Bucks County Republican Committee in the weeks leading up to the November election.
Board of elections employees rejected almost 900 ballot applications that were incomplete or questionable, an unprecedented number that made elections officials suspicious.
For those who don’t remember, the scheme involved mailing letters to thousands of Bucks County residents threatening that, if they didn’t apply for absentee ballots for the 2010 election, they might lose their right to vote. Rather than having the applications mailed to an official voter registration address, the mailing instructed voters to mail their applications to a Bristol post office box surreptitiously controlled by local Democrats under the phony name of the “Pennsylvania Voter Assistance Office.”
The Republican lawsuit alleged that mail to the PO Box was collected by Murphy’s campaign manager and a state Democrat party volunteer.
One voter alleged that an absentee ballot was submitted in her name even though she discarded the mailer from the bogus “Pennsylvania Voter Assistance Office.”
The [Republican] petition focused foremost on a series of letters voters in Bucks County began receiving some time after Labor Day. On letterhead of the fictitious Pennsylvania Voter Assistance Office, the mailings warned recipients that their right to participate in the Nov. 2 election might be in jeopardy if they failed to respond.
“The bogus letter seeks to trick voters into needlessly registering for absentee ballots and then, for reasons unknown, causes them to send those ballots to a post office box apparently controlled by the Democratic candidate for Congress,” the petition says.
“The applications then appear to be sent to a central processing location to be gathered, screened and held, as evidenced by the fact that the dates on numerous applications are dated several weeks before the application were received in the Board of Elections,” the petition says.
Six Bucks County residents provided affidavits included in the petition in which they describe encounters with campaign workers who instructed them to complete absentee ballot applications when they did not plan to be out of town for the election or to sign the names of family members to obtain ballots for them.