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Philadelphia's Top GOP Election Official Alleges Widespread Voter Fraud in City

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The sole Republican among Philadelphia's three-member city commissioners (the group that runs elections) today issued a scathing report about the May primary in the city, alleging a wide range of voting irregularities.

Republican city commissioner Al Schmidt says his probe into the May primary is not related to, nor prompted by, the furor over the state's new voter ID law (see related stories).  He says his review found seven different types of voting issues, including:

"People voting twice, voting by non-citizens who are not eligible to vote, to people voting who are not registered to vote, to people voting in parties other than their own."

Also noted are instances of voting by people in the wrong party's primary, voting by people in the wrong district, and divisions with more votes than voters.

Schmidt estimates the number of such issues citywide at between 200 and 1,000.

But he conceded that without a top-to-bottom review of the voting books, he does not really know how widespread the problems are.

Democratic city commissioner Stephanie Singer criticized Schmidt's report as "put together in a hurry" and dismissed Schmidt's allegations of incidents of voter impersonation.

Schmidt recommends several changes, including that a complete, manual review of all results be conducted after every election.

Singer says she supports that concept but says her office currently lacks the computer infrastructure to do so.


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