Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler plans to “dive back into” a voter fraud investigation that has taken a back seat to more pressing cases in recent weeks.
“Obviously, when we have homicides and various other things that trumps what you’re doing and things can get sidetracked,” Heckler said Friday. “But the investigation is in progress.”
The case centers on 1,600 absentee ballot applications challenged by the Bucks County Republican Committee in the weeks leading up to the November election.
Board of elections employees rejected almost 900 ballot applications that were incomplete or questionable, an unprecedented number that made elections officials suspicious.
Republicans quickly called into question a get-out-the-vote effort organized by the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee. They claimed they had heard Bucks residents were pressured into applying for absentee ballots they did not want or signing applications for family members, which violated the election code.
The effort also included letters from a fictitious “Pennsylvania Voter Assistance Office” that warned residents’ voting rights might be at risk if they did not obtain an absentee ballot. Applications were directed to the post office box of then Congressman Patrick Murphy’s re-election campaign manager, instead of the county.
Democrats, including Murphy, denied wrongdoing, saying the letter was legal. They also accused the GOP of trying to stop qualified Democratic voters’ ballots from being counted. Republicans dropped the challenges once it was clear the ballots — even if fraudulent — would not have changed the outcome.
Murphy, who was defeated by Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick in November, is employed by Fox Rothschild and is a candidate for Pennsylvania attorney general.
Heckler said one of the challenges in working the case has been “tracking down several individuals who headed off in different directions.”
He’s evaluating “whether it’s worth spending the money” to send county detectives to “Washington, Chicago or some other place on the compass … to speak with witnesses.”
Heckler said authorities are trying to “dredge up names of people who are in the field (of knocking on doors for politicians). I don’t know that we’re looking for people real high up on the food chain.”
Read more: http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/the_intelligencer_news/heckler-voter-fraud-investigation-continues/article_8299169c-e8da-5c9e-8d3f-215e336d8362.html