After a Philadelphia Democratic consultant reportedly violated the law, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is once again in the spotlight about election security.
Rasheen Crews was arrested and charged with falsifying ballot signatures to place his clients on the ballot on Wednesday.
During the 2019 Philadelphia primary elections, Crews reportedly committed these felonies, according to the Daily Caller.
The Pennsylvania attorney general and incoming governor, Josh Shapiro, issued a statement about the arrest, detailing the offences and emphasizing the significance of election integrity.
“In advance of the 2023 municipal elections, this arrest is an important reminder that interfering with the integrity of our elections is a serious crime,” Shapiro said.
“By soliciting and organizing the wide-scale forgery of signatures, the defendant undermined the democratic process and Philadelphians’ right to a free and fair election. My office is dedicated to upholding the integrity of the election process across the Commonwealth, to ensure everyone can participate in Pennsylvania’s future.”
As reported by the Daily Caller, officials discovered that other Democratic candidates engaged Crews to get them on the ballot.
Gaining ballot access requires collecting a specified number of signatures from registered voters, who are then notarized and submitted.
Authorities allegedly discovered that Crews hired other persons to fake the identities and addresses of hotel guests.
More than 1,000 of these signatures were found to be duplicated, with “many names and addresses were found repeated on various petition pages,” according to the Daily Caller.
Jason Rubin, one of Crews’ customers, notified investigators that he paid the consultant $2,500.
Rubin claims he delivered Crews the signed signatures he had collected the old-fashioned manner, but subsequently discovered that “two of the pages had names added to the petitions after the pages were notarized and given to Crews by Rubin.”
As the irregularities in Crews’ signature became evident, a number of the applicants who had applied for the position withdrew.
These facts are contained in the police affidavit.
According to the AG’s office, Crews has been charged with criminal solicitation to commit forgery and theft by failing to make mandatory disposition.
His case is being pursued by the attorney general’s chief deputy.