Vote fraud in Pennsylvania?
A trio of Bucks County residents backed by the county Republican committee say they have evidence linking Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy's campaign to a scheme to flood the county voter registration office with fraudulent applications for absentee ballots.
In a petition filed Tuesday, county Republicans say the name of Murphy's campaign manager appeared on a Bristol post office box where voters were urged in a series of letters paid for by the state Democratic Committee to send absentee ballot applications.
The county Republicans submitted with the petition a photograph of a note inside the mailbox that said, "Tim Percico and Paul Hampel only pick up mail." Tim Persico is Murphy's campaign manager, although his name is misspelled in the note. Hampel is a volunteer for the Democratic state committee who said he collects mail from the box.
While county and state Democratic officials denied involvement in the letter campaign or refused to discuss it, Persico said Tuesday that the "PA Vote 2010" project that paid for the letters is a partnership between Murphy's campaign and the state Democrats.
Persico said the goal of the project is to help eligible Democratic voters obtain and cast absentee ballots. . .
The petition is the latest in a series of alarms county and state Republicans have sounded over an influx of questionable absentee ballot applications. Last week, Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler said his office would investigate allegations of fraud leveled by state and county Republican officials.
Voter Registration Director Deena Dean said her staff had rejected more than 600 defective absentee ballot applications as of Friday. Although the voter registration office continued to accept applications until the close of business Tuesday, Dean was unable to provide an updated total. . . . .