Philadelphia Election Fraud Trial Pending in Federal Court

As we blogged earlier, in March 2017, a last-minute Democratic candidate, Emilio Vazquez, for the 197th Pennsylvania House race unexpectedly won a write-in campaign, after the former Democratic nominee was disqualified and another candidate could not be added to the ballot in time.

The only two candidates on the ballot were a Republican and a Green Party candidate, in a heavily Democratic district. Republicans had a shot at winning this normally Democratic state legislature seat. However, with the help of "non-partisan" poll workers, the write-in candidate won in a landslide.

This vivid case of election and vote fraud is now pending before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Currently, the case is facing pretrial motions to dismiss. Philadelphia Metro reported:

The parties on both sides of a potential lawsuit that claims illegal electioneering took place during a special election in the city’s 197th Pennsylvania House District will need to wait more than six weeks before they will know if the case will be heard in federal court. . . . Judge Joel H. Slomsky requested all parties involved to submit supplemental materials after they receive a transcript of the day’s proceedings before he would rule on whether the case could be brought to trial.

Lawyers for both [Green Party's Cheri] Honkala and [Republican Lucida] Little, as well as the Republican City Committee, contend that the pair were deprived of a fair election, with several alleged examples being brought up in court, including poll workers going as far as following voters into voting booths on the day of the election in order to force voters to cast their ballot for Vazquez.

“This is massive fraud on a regular basis, and we have to stop it if we can,” Sam Stretton, an attorney for Honkala, told the judge during the hearing. . . Stretton argued that they have reviewed all avenues available to them and have determined that the most appropriate action was to file a federal lawsuit hoping to void the results of the election that put Vazquez in office. They also claimed that their rights under the Federal Voting Rights Act and Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Election Codes were violated during the election. “We did not bring this lightly,” said Stretton. “This is a pattern where everything that could happen wrong, happened wrong.”

While both parties saved specifics of their cases for the full trial, Linda Kerns, an attorney for Little and the Republican City Committee, said that, if the case were brought to trial, they could prove that poll workers gave write-in voters stamps that forced them to vote for Vazquez and had images that could prove at least four people – “eight legs,” as she told the judge – could be seen in one voting booth in the district, which she said indicated that poll workers followed voters into polls in order to manipulate their votes. . . .

[Judge] Slomsky’s decision isn’t expected to be heard for at least six weeks, as obtaining a transcript of Thursday's hearing is expected to take 30 days and the attornies have an additional two weeks to submit additional materials. 

We will also keep you posted once the Court issues its ruling. Tonight, the RNLA's Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter will be hosting a Fall Reception. This Philadelphia election and vote fraud story is surely going to be one of the topics of conversation. There is still time to RSVP if you are interested in attending this reception and meeting fellow members and friends of the RNLA.