Gop: 84 City Voters Still Listed In Yeadon

Posted: October 30, 1987

Election officials, acting on a tip from the Republican Party, say they have discovered 84 Philadelphia voters who still are carried on a registration list for Yeadon, Delaware County.

City commissioners yesterday called an emergency meeting to hear what the staff had uncovered and to order a hurry-up investigation over the weekend. But election officials emphasized they have no proof that any of the registrations is fake.

"We don't know whether there are fraudulent registrations in existence," said Deputy City Commissioner Edward Schulgen. "It's just that the numbers are unusual."

Common Pleas Judge Joseph Bruno, an acting commissioner because two city commissioners are on Tuesday's election ballot, said, "There is enough here to direct our staff to make a thorough investigation."

The commission says the registrations will stay on the books.

City election worker Robert Lee said Republican City Committee leader William A. Meehan called him yesterday to describe rumors that large numbers of Yeadon residents planned to come into the city to vote for Mayor Goode, the Democratic candidate. Former Mayor Frank L. Rizzo is the Republican nominee.

Lee said Meehan sent him a street list of registered voters in Yeadon's 7th Precinct. Checking about 500 names against the city's computerized voter list, Lee said he found 84 names that matched.

Meehan could not be reached for comment last night, nor could registration officials for Delaware County or Yeadon.

Meanwhile, in an unrelated case, the Philadelphia district attorney's office announced yesterday that it is investigating 84 more allegedly bogus voter registrations from Northwest Philadelphia's 10th and 50th wards that were turned in this month.

An initial investigation by the election office, which suspected the forms were false, found that the purported registrants did not live at the addresses on the registration forms, said Chief Deputy City Commissioner Charles P. Mirarchi III.

Mirarchi said the registrations have been purged from election-poll binders, and a certified letter has been sent to each registrant to verify the registration is false.

If it is not, Mirarchi said, the registrant must resolve any discrepancies with the divisional election court where he or she lives.

Speaking yesterday before the city commissioners' emergency meeting on the Yeadon-Philadelphia case, Frederick L. Voigt, executive secretary of the Committee of Seventy, an election-monitoring group, told the commissioners he had found no obvious defects or signs of fraud when he checked the affidavits.

Officials who had inspected the forms said they appeared to be in different handwritings, filed over several years. Many voters listed Yeadon as a previous address and have voted in recent Philadelphia elections, indicating they had simply moved into the city. Most of the residents live in Southwest Philadelphia.

Anyone who fills out a new registration must list a previous voting address. Registration officials are supposed to remove the earlier registration or notify the county where the voter used to live, but it can take months or years to clear up the paperwork.

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