Former Philadelphia Judge of Elections admits to stuffing ballot boxes for Democrats from 2014-16 in return for bribe money

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Former Philadelphia Judge of Elections Domenick J. DeMuro has pleaded guilty to stuffing ballot boxes for Democratic candidates in primary elections in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain announced in a news release Thursday, detailing how DeMuro, 73, defrauded the public and took bribes in doing so. He was charged and pleaded guilty on the same day.

The two counts were listed as follows:

(1) conspiracy to deprive Philadelphia voters of their civil rights by fraudulently stuffing the ballot boxes for specific Democratic candidates in the 2014, 2015, and 2016 primary elections, and (2) a violation of the Travel Act, which forbids the use of any facility in interstate commerce (here, a cell phone) with the intent to promote certain illegal activity (here, bribery).

During the plea hearing, DeMuro admitted that a political consultant, who was not named, gave him money in return for him illegally adding votes to certain Democratic candidates who had either hired the consultant or were the consultant’s preferred candidates.

The bribery monies were disguised as “consulting fees” collected by the consultant and then paid to Election Board Officials, including DeMuro.

“DeMuro fraudulently stuffed the ballot box by literally standing in a voting booth and voting over and over, as fast as he could, while he thought the coast was clear. This is utterly reprehensible conduct. The charges announced today do not erase what he did, but they do ensure that he is held to account for those actions,” McSwain said. “Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy. If even one vote is fraudulently rung up, the integrity of that election is compromised.”

The candidates who were helped by the illegal activity were also not named in the news release.

DeMuro’s guilty plea was secured by cooperation between the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the Pennsylvania State Police — and the investigation is still ongoing.

“I want the public to know that this investigation is active and ongoing, and my Office is taking every possible step that we can to ensure the integrity of the upcoming primary and general elections in the nine counties of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania,” McSwain added.