We are told that vote fraud is very, very rare, but perhaps it’s more like it’s very boring and tawdry, so it’s easy to memoryhole when it does happen. For example, here are a couple of 2020 Department of Justice press releases about a vote fraud conspiracy in Philadelphia in 2013-2015:
Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 23, 2020
Former Congressman Charged with Ballot Stuffing, Bribery, and Obstruction
A former U.S. Congressman was charged Tuesday in an indictment unsealed today, with conspiring to violate voting rights by fraudulently stuffing the ballot boxes for specific candidates in the 2014, 2015, and 2016 primary elections, bribery of an election official, falsification of records, voting more than once in federal elections, and obstruction of justice.
Michael “Ozzie” Myers, 77, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is charged with conspiring with and bribing the former Judge of Elections for the 39th Ward, 36th Division, Domenick J. Demuro.
Myers, a Democrat from Philadelphia, who served two terms in the US House of Representatives before being the first Congressman to be expelled since 1861, has quite a Wikipedia bio:
Michael Joseph Myers was born on May 4, 1943, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1963, Myers was arrested for burglary, but was later acquitted.
In 1979, he got into a fight with a security guard and a 19-year-old female cashier in an elevator leading from the rooftop lounge of a Quality Inn motel in Arlington, Virginia, punching and kicking them. Myers became combative after they told him to turn down the music at a party he was having in the motel, shouting, “I’m a congressman: we don’t have to be quiet.” He was subsequently charged with assault and battery, and eventually pleaded no contest to a charge of disorderly conduct three months later. He received a six-month suspended sentence.
Myers was involved in the Abscam scandal in 1980. Myers was videotaped accepting a bribe of $50,000 from undercover FBI agents on August 22, 1979. On that tape, Myers is recorded saying that “money talks in this business and bullshit walks.” Myers was expelled from the House of Representatives on October 2, 1980, by a vote of 376 to 30, becoming the first member of the House to be expelled since 1861. Myers was convicted of bribery and conspiracy and sentenced to three years in prison in 1981.
Back to the DoJ:
Demuro, who pleaded guilty previously in federal court in Philadelphia, was responsible for overseeing the entire election process and all voter activities of his division in accord with federal and state election laws.
… Myers is charged with bribing Demuro to illegally add votes for certain candidates of their mutual party in primary elections. Some of these candidates were individuals running for judicial office whose campaigns had hired Myers, and others were candidates for various federal, state, and local elective offices whom Myers favored for a variety of reasons. According to the indictment, Myers would solicit payments from his clients in the form of cash or checks as “consulting fees,” and then use portions of these funds to pay Demuro and others in return for tampering with election results.
After receiving payments ranging from between $300 to $5,000 per election from the consultant, the court papers allege Demuro would add fraudulent votes on the voting machine – also known as “ringing up” votes – for Myers’ clients and preferred candidates, thereby diluting the value of ballots cast by actual voters. At Myers’ direction, Demuro would add these fraudulent votes to the totals during Election Day, and then would later falsely certify that the voting machine results were accurate. Myers is also accused of directing Demuro to lie about the circumstances of the bribes and the ballot-stuffing scheme to investigators.
And here’s the DoJ’s earlier press release about Demuro:
Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 21, 2020
A former Judge of Elections has been convicted for his role in accepting bribes to cast fraudulent ballots and certifying false voting results during the 2014, 2015, and 2016 primary elections in Philadelphia.
Domenick J. Demuro, 73, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty during a sealed proceeding on March 16, 2020, before U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond to conspiring to deprive persons of civil rights, and using interstate facilities in aid of bribery. The court unsealed the matter today. Sentencing is scheduled for June 30, 2020.
During his guilty plea hearing, Demuro admitted that while serving as an elected municipal Judge of Elections, he accepted bribes in the form of money and other things of value in exchange for adding ballots to increase the vote totals for certain candidates on the voting machines in his jurisdiction and for certifying tallies of all the ballots, including the fraudulent ballots. Demuro further admitted that a local political consultant [Myers] gave him directions and paid him money to add votes for candidates supported by the consultant, including candidates for judicial office whose campaigns actually hired the consultant, and other candidates for various federal, state and local elective offices preferred by that consultant for a variety of reasons. Demuro also admitted that the votes he added in exchange for payments by the political consultant increased the number of votes fraudulently recorded and tallied for the consultant’s clients and preferred candidates, thereby diluting the ballots cast by actual voters. …
“Domenick Demuro put a thumb on the scale for certain candidates, in exchange for bribes,” said Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Driscoll of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division.
Speaking of Abscam:
From The Federalist:
Ozzie’s story is an illustrative one, and an important, colorful example of how things work in Philadelphia politics—a “machine,” one insider told The Federalist, that has a lot more in common with “a living organism” that doesn’t need instructions “to know how to breathe.”
Michael “Ozzie” Myers was born in 1943 in Philadelphia. When he was 19, he was arrested for burglary but later acquitted (“a misunderstanding,” he’d say). When he was 27, his illegally owned handgun was used by his cousin to kill a non-union construction worker in what one newspaper characterized as “a union quarrel.” His cousin was fine, winning office as an election judge while still in prison, assuming his new office after release, and pleading the Fifth to stealing ballots.
Ozzie quickly made a name for himself. In 1975, by then 32 and a member of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, he sued to cut off federal funds to the local federal prosecutor. The next month, he was the lone vote against expelling a colleague on his way to prison. He was rewarded for being such a reliable guy, and the following year the 16 ward leaders of District One nominated him to replace the Democratic congressman who had died in office (with the mayor easing early concerns Myers wasn’t even Italian). “I’m not going to tell you what I’m going to do until I get there,” he told the Democrats voting to send him to Washington.
When he did get to Washington, he partied. In 1979, when a Northern Virginia motel security guard told them they had to quiet down, Ozzie replied, “I’m a congressman, we don’t have to be quiet,” before beating the man with his friends. When the 19-year-old girl who worked the register tried to help the guard, they beat her as well. When the police arrived, one of Ozzie’s buddies was naked from the waist down, screaming “beat me!” The naked man was arrested, and a warrant issued for the congressman’s arrest. During their sentencing, the judge warned the two to “keep their records clean.”
Ozzie did not follow the judge’s advice, and the following year, 1980, he explained to undercover FBI agents delivering him a $50,000 bribe that “money talks in this business, and bullshit walks.” When video emerged he was expelled from Congress — the first congressman expelled since the Civil War—and went to prison. When Ozzie got out, he appears to have gone right back to work, and in July 2020 was charged with bribing a Philadelphia elections judge to stuff ballots for his candidates.
Three of those candidates, who have not been identified, now sit on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Judges on this court have already denied the Trump campaign’s ballot-watchers access, providing crucial unsupervised time to ward vote counters before a successful appeal at a higher court.
Ozzie is a particularly colorful character, but not an unusual one, according to interviews The Federalist conducted with multiple current and former members of Philadelphia’s Democratic Party, who agreed to talk to us on condition of anonymity. It’s a way of life, they explained, with voters often owing their jobs (as well as family members’ jobs) and much else to an administration that rewards those it finds reliable.
“You have a kid who gets in trouble,” one insider explained as an example, “you call the party, and the party will have a lawyer on retainer who can represent him in court. The lawyer’s actually free, because he wants to become a judge so is establishing he’s reliable. When you get the nod to run, you pay $30 or $40,000 for party ‘marketing expenses’ and you win a 10-year term. You’re in front of a judge who went through this process… from the Democratic City Committee, so as soon as you walk in the room that judge is going to make the charge go away.”
“You couldn’t wire tap this,” they explained. “There’s no phone call, no deal—it’s a system he bought into years ago.”
And that’s just judges, insiders say. The “machine,” one explained, is less a machine than it is “a living organism—it doesn’t need a handshake or a phone call to know how to breathe.” Each part does its job, often in tandem but rarely with any communication or even necessarily a friendly relationship, and when things go right, people stay employed and the money keeps flowing.
Ozzie, we’re told, wasn’t even caught as part of an election fraud investigation: He was simply on the trail to John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty, a powerful Philadelphia labor boss who leads the Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and was indicted in February 2019. Johnny Doc’s younger brother, Judge Kevin Dougherty,” was elected to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 2015 with help from Local 98.
“In these neighborhoods, your school, house, health care, your job, a lawyer if your kid is in trouble, are all government. The bad ones are the bribes… the rest is just how it works.”