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A Democrat who was thrown out of Congress for his criminal behavior years ago now has admitted to multiple new election-fraud charges after he bribed election judges in two Philadelphia wards to stuff ballot boxes with fake votes for his chosen candidates.
Broadcaster WHYY reports that Michael “Ozzie” Myers, 79, tried to control the election results for various political races in the 2014 and 2018 elections.
“One judge, Domenick J. Demuro, who was charged separately and also pleaded guilty, would certify fraudulent voting machine receipts as valid after adding fake votes for various candidates who had hired Myers for so-called consultancy services,” the report said.
The bribes ranged from $300 to $5,000 to falsify vote totals for candidates running for different local, state and federal offices, including candidates for the judiciary.
And, the report explained, Myers drove another election judge, Marie Beren, to one polling location on election day and then gave her instructions on which candidates should get how many additional – and false – votes.
The counts to which Myers admitted guilt include conspiracy to deprive voters of civil rights, bribery, falsification of voting records, conspiring to illegally vote, and obstruction of justice.
“Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy. If even one vote has been illegally cast or if the integrity of just one election official is compromised, it diminishes faith in process,” said U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams. “Votes are not things to be purchased and democracy is not for sale. If you are a political consultant, election official, or work with the polling places in any way, I urge you to do your job honestly and faithfully. That is what the public deserves and what the federal government will enforce.”
Authorities did not reveal whether Myer’s voting influence operations changed the outcome of any specific races. But testimony confirmed that the false votes sometimes amounted to 22% of the vote totals.
Myers was not, in fact, a stranger to the judicial system. He went to prison in the 1980s for accepting a bribe in the infamous Abscam sting. The case ended his career in Congress, representing Pennsylvania’s 1st congressional district, in 1980.
That case also involved bribery and vote influence operations.
And he provided one of the more memorable quotes from the entire episode, when he said, “Money talks in this business and bull—- walks.”
He made the comment while accepting a $50,000 bribe.
The U.S. House, on his conviction, voted to expel him.
McCall.com explained that prosecutors confirmed his “criminal efforts were generally, although not exclusively, directed at securing election victories for local judicial candidates running for Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas or Municipal Court who had employed Myers as a ‘political consultant.’”
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