October 29, 1986 |
When the ballots were counted in the November 1984 election in the 39th Ward in South Philadelphia, all the winners were big winners. A few dozen votes could not have made any difference one way or the other. But those votes might be enough to send a few people to jail. A federal grand jury charged yesterday that at least a dozen fraudulent votes were cast in the 39th Ward in November 1984, and that the people who conspired to cast those votes were City Councilman Leland M. Beloff; his wife, Diane; Democratic committeewoman Margaret M. Coyle, and election judge Charles Pollan.
June 12, 1988 |
The controversial race between Rep. Robert C. Wright (R., Chester) and his Democratic challenger, Charles P. McLaughlin, moves into the courtroom now, with McLaughlin charging in court papers that he was the victim of fraud. McLaughlin also claimed in a court petition that "an injustice has been done to him," and wants to open voting machines in a final search for extra votes. In an attempt to run unopposed in November, Wright, a Republican, launched a write-in campaign on the Democratic side in the April 26 primary.
August 5, 1987 |
Part of the City Council district that Leland M. Beloff formerly represented will be the backdrop for yet another Beloff criminal trial, scheduled to begin in less than two weeks. Beloff, his wife, Diane, and Charles Pollan, an elections judge, face trial Aug. 17 as a result of a 63-count federal grand jury indictment charging them with vote fraud in the November 1984 general election. The Beloffs and Pollan are charged with forging numerous voter registration cards and absentee ballot applications in the names of residents of the Walt Whitman Convalescent Center, a nursing home at 4th and Porter streets in South Philadelphia.
December 7, 1994 |
City Register of Wills Ronald R. Donatucci suspended employee Anthony G. Rotondo yesterday for four weeks following Rotondo's guilty plea on vote-fraud charges. Rotondo is the second employee of the office to be suspended this year following a criminal conviction. Rotondo, who was the Democratic committeeman in the 18th Division of the 43d Ward until this spring, admitted to a Common Pleas Court judge Monday that he forged absentee-ballot documents and cast a vote on a voting machine for a woman who was not present at a 43d Ward polling site on Nov. 2, 1993.
September 27, 1994 |
Ramon Pratt, the only defendant to plead guilty in last November's absentee ballot scandal, was sentenced yesterday to two years of probation for illegally recruiting voters to cast absentee ballots. Senior Common Pleas Court Judge Warren G. Morgan 3d said he was granting a light sentence to Pratt, 48, because he had cooperated with prosecutors seeking evidence against others involved in the Nov. 2 vote fraud in the Second State Senate District. But Morgan stressed that he considered the offenses serious.
November 21, 1993
The newest member of the Pennsylvania Senate may have vote-fraud investigators nipping at his heels, and for that, Democrat William Stinson of Northeast Philadelphia has only himself and political supporters to blame. State Attorney General Ernie Preate Jr. wouldn't be investigating the contested Second District race if so many voters weren't claiming that Stinson campaign workers and Democratic apparatchiks had misled them into thinking they could vote by absentee ballot. Absentee votes for Mr. Stinson, 1,391 in all, gave him the victory over Republican Bruce Marks.
May 4, 2012 |
In the 1960s, a Democratic ward leader took shoe boxes full of quarters to the polls in poor neighborhoods - "to pay off voters," a veteran election lawyer recalls. In 1993, a judge overturned a pivotal State Senate race because of hundreds of bogus absentee ballots. In last year's primary, dozens of polling places mysteriously recorded more votes in some races than the number of voters who'd signed in. All are examples of real or suspected vote fraud, Philadelphia-style.
October 25, 2004 |
Early last month, Pennsylvania Republicans purchased an official list of about 130,000 people who had registered to vote in Philadelphia in the previous six months. They mailed letters to each of the 130,000, urging them to consider voting Republican. Then they sat and waited to see what would happen. Within weeks, about 10,000 of the letters had come back marked "Return to sender" because there was "no such number" or no one by the voter's name living at the address on the envelope.
February 27, 1994 |
In an old New Yorker cartoon taped to the door of Fred Voigt's small, cluttered office, two people admire a large, furry beast. "We didn't train him to be a watchdog," says one. "Actually, he's just a self-appointed watchdog. " As executive director of the Committee of Seventy, a nonpartisan group of good-government types, Voigt has long barked for clean elections, City Charter reform and upright conduct in a city whose political life has long been down and dirty. Frederick L. Voigt, a furnace-faced, horn-rimmed 50-year-old with a penchant for formal sentences, crisp shirts and bright suspenders, has prided himself on singing in a chorus of one. He is the former assistant district attorney who helped bring his own uncle, a Republican ward leader, before a grand jury.
October 13, 1995 |
A Common Pleas Court judge found a Democratic Party committeeman guilty of vote fraud yesterday in the tainted 1993 Second Senate District race, the latest casualty among the more than 20 people charged in the scandal. In a nonjury trial, Senior Judge Jay Myers found Gregory Hampson, 30, guilty of nine counts of misdemeanor election-code violations for submitting bogus applications for absentee ballots. Hampson, of the 5400 block of Montague Street, is a Democratic committeeman in the Fifth Division of the 62d Ward.