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Local NY election official charged over absentee ballots

September 15, 2022 Associated Press
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A Republican county elections commissioner upstate was accused Tuesday of applying for absentee ballots in the names of other people.

Jason Schofield of the Rensselaer County Board of Elections was arraigned on an indictment charging him with using the names of eight registered voters to fraudulently apply for absentee ballots in the 2021 primary and general elections, when local offices were on the ballot.

In several cases, Schofield allegedly brought the ballots to those registered voters and had them sign absentee ballot envelopes without actually voting. That allowed Schofield or another person to cast votes in these voters’ names, according to the indictment.

The charge comes as Republican officials around the country have warned about voter fraud. Some have have falsely charged that the 2000 presidential election was rigged in favor of Democrat Joe Biden.

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Schofield faces 12 counts of unlawful possession and use of a means of identification. He pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance.

His attorney, Danielle Neroni, said Schofield maintains his innocence.

Federal officials have been investigating possible voter fraud in the Hudson River city of Troy and surrounding Rensselaer County.

In June, a Republican Troy City Council member admitted to fraudulently casting an absentee ballot in last year’s primary election and two such ballots in the general election. She resigned from the council after pleading guilty.

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