The Election Board of Commissioners has referred allegations of voter fraud in the race for the 78th District state representative to the city’s top prosecutor and the U.S. attorney’s office. “The written complaint received this morning contained the serious allegation that evidence exists of illegal activity regarding the absentee ballot process,” the commissioners wrote in a news release Wednesday afternoon, in explaining its action. The action was taken after a large group of residents walked into the downtown Election Board offices Wednesday morning, asking to talk with Democratic Director Mary Wheeler-Jones. Each person had in hand a signed form letter, alleging that absentee ballots cast in the Aug. 2 primary race between newcomer Bruce Franks and incumbent Penny Hubbard were “obtained illegally, were tampered with, or both.”
Franks lost by 90 votes to Hubbard. Franks received more votes on Election Day, but when absentee ballots were added to the tally, Hubbard won the Democratic race. She faces a Republican challenger in the Nov. 8 general election.
“Anything short of a recount or a new election is unacceptable,” the letters from Franks’ supporters said.
Susan Ryan, spokeswoman for Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, said that her office had not yet received information from the Election Board “but we will review what we get.” The U.S. attorney’s office had no comment regarding the review, said spokesman Jan Diltz.