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PA Gov. Elect Josh Shapiro Arrests Democratic Consultant For ‘Wide Scale’ Ballot Fraud

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Democratic Pennsylvania Governor-elect Josh Shapiro, who is currently serving as the state’s attorney general, has charged a former campaign consultant with “wide-scale” voter fraud.

Shapiro’s office announced that Philadelphia political consultant Rasheen Crews was arrested on Wednesday and charged with forging signatures on nomination petitions so that he could get his Democratic clients on the ballot during the 2019 primary races in the city.

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“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 in a statement. “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.”

Crews was charged with Criminal Solicitation to Commit Forgery and Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition, according to Shapiro’s office.

Several Democratic candidates hired Crews to help them obtain the number of signatures required to run in the primary races. Authorities say that Crews allegedly recruited individuals to meet him at a hotel room, where they would write names, addresses, and “forged signatures on multiple petitions.”

More than 1,000 signatures were found to be duplicated, with “many names and addresses were found repeated on various petition pages.” Some of the individuals who allegedly signed the petitions later said that they did not sign them.

“My Office has arrested Rasheen Crews, a political consultant, on charges related to forging signatures on nomination petitions in municipal elections. An important reminder that interfering with the integrity of our elections is a serious crime,” Shapiro tweeted.

Below is the full press release from Shapiro’s office:

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Defendant is Alleged to Have Conspired to Forge Thousands of Signatures to get Candidates’ Names on the Ballot for the 2019 Democratic Primary Races in Philadelphia

Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced the arrest of Rasheen Crews, a Philadelphia political consultant, for charges related to forging signatures on nomination petitions to get his clients on the ballot for the 2019 Democratic primary races in Philadelphia.

“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,” said AG Shapiro. “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.”

An investigation by the Office of the Attorney General found that in 2019, multiple candidates hired Crews to help them obtain the requisite amount of signatures needed for their nomination petitions for the Democratic primary races. Crews recruited individuals to help with the petition work, bringing them to a hotel room and asking them to write names, addresses, and forged signatures on multiple petitions. Crews then had these petitions notarized and filed with the Pennsylvania Department of State on behalf of his clients.

Of the petitions that were reviewed, over one thousand signatures were determined to be duplicated. Many names and addresses were found repeated on various petition pages, some pages appeared to be photocopied entirely, and some of the listed individuals claimed to have never signed the petitions in question.

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Due to the questions around the petition signatures, some candidates chose to withdraw entirely from the election.

Crews was charged with Criminal Solicitation to Commit Forgery and Theft By Failure to Make Required Disposition. This matter is being prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Thomas Ost-Prisco. All charges discussed are accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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