Vote-Fraud Ruling Shifts Pennsylvania Senate


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February 19, 1994, Section 1, Page 1Buy Reprints
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Saying Philadelphia's election system had collapsed under "a massive scheme" by Democrats to steal a State Senate election in November, a Federal judge today took the rare step of invalidating the vote and ordered the seat filled by the Republican candidate.

In making such a sweeping move, the judge, Clarence C. Newcomer of Federal District Court here, did for the Republicans what the election had not: enable them to regain control of the State Senate, which they lost two years ago.

Judge Newcomer ruled that the Democratic campaign of William G. Stinson had stolen the election from Bruce S. Marks in North Philadelphia's Second Senatorial District through an elaborate fraud in which hundreds of residents were encouraged to vote by absentee ballot even though they had no legal reason -- like a physical disability or a scheduled trip outside the city -- to do so.

In many instances, according to Republicans who testified during a four-day civil trial last week, Democratic campaign workers forged absentee ballots. On many of the ballots, they used the names of people who were living in Puerto Rico or serving time in prison, and in one case, the voter had been dead for some time.



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