Officials finally found a case of a dead person voting, accusing a Republican of pretending to be his dead mom to vote for Trump
President Donald Trump on November 3 in Arlington, Virginia. SAUL LOEB / AFP via Getty Images
Bruce Bartman, a 70-year-old from Delaware County, Pennsylvania, has been charged with election fraud.
He pretended to be his dead mother to vote for President Donald Trump in the 2020 election and registered his dead mother-in-law to vote, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said this was the only case of electoral fraud they found after hundreds of tips.
Election fraud is extremely rare in the US, but Republicans have said it was a big problem and tried to pass laws that would restrict voting.
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Officials have found a case where a dead person is voting.
Bruce Bartman has been charged with unlawful voting and perjury on charges of impersonating his dead mother to cast a vote for President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania's November election.
Delaware District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer announced the charges in a press release on Monday. Bartman was charged Friday and released on bail of $ 100,000, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. If convicted on all counts, 70-year-old Bartman could spend up to 19 years in prison.
"This is the only known case in which a 'dead person' votes in our county, regardless of conspiracy theories," Stollsteimer said in a statement. "Furthermore, the immediate pursuit of this case shows that law enforcement will continue to comply with our electoral laws when there is actual evidence of fraud and that we will continue to investigate any allegation that comes in our way."
Prosecutors said Bartman registered two dead - his mother, Elizabeth Bartman and mother-in-law, Elizabeth Weihman - as Republican voters in August. He used the state's online voter registration portal, which residents can use to register to vote using their driver's license number or the last four digits of their social security number, prosecutors said.
He used his mother-in-law's social security number to register, which was marked in the state system as the property of a deceased person, prosecutors added, but the software sent a letter addressed to her to confirm if she was alive. Bartman lied on the form and pretended to be Weihman, prosecutors said, but ultimately did not request a postal vote on her behalf.
Bartman also registered his dead mother to vote and eventually successfully cast a ballot for Trump and other Republicans on her behalf, prosecutors said.
Election fraud is extremely rare in the United States. A database maintained by the conservative Heritage Foundation found only 193 convicted cases of electoral fraud between 193 and 2020, in which approximately 250 million votes were cast. Republicans often baselessly claim that electoral fraud is widespread and widespread while pushing for laws that would make it difficult for people to vote.
"For all the conspiracy theorists out there, this case is not widespread electoral fraud today," Stollsteimer told The Philadelphia Inquirer. "This case was evidence that a person committed election fraud by casting an inappropriate and illegal ballot."
President-elect Joe Biden won Delaware County with around 78,000 votes and the general popular vote with around 7 million votes. Trump and his political allies have filed 40 lawsuits against the election results - some of them for fraud - and none of them have succeeded.
In Delaware County, a task force made up of prosecutors, detectives and other investigators has investigated complaints of election fraud against the electoral board.
Of the hundreds of tips received, Bartman was the only one substantiated, first assistant district attorney Tanner Rouse told The Inquirer.
"In the hundreds of phone calls and hundreds of visits, we only found one case of wrongdoing and that was Mr. Bartman," said Rouse. "And he is being prosecuted."
Samuel Stretton, Bartman's attorney, told The Inquirer that his client had taken responsibility for his actions.
"In his political frustration, he chose something stupid," Stretton told The Inquirer. "And he's very sorry about that."
Trump and Republican officials have won zero from at least 40 lawsuits they have filed since election day
The Trump campaign is challenging Pennsylvania's electoral laws in the Supreme Court more than a month after the election ended
Americans are more likely to be struck by lightning than by election fraud
Trump is still hoping for one final lawsuit in Michigan to overthrow the presidential election
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