New York Man Charged for Requesting Mail-In Ballots for Dead Mother

RENTON, WASHINGTON - MARCH 09: An election worker wearing protective gloves sorts through mailed-in ballots in the King County Elections ballot processing center on March 09, 2020 in Renton, Washington. Election officials mandated the precautionary measure for workers handling ballots in this year's primary election counting process. King County has …
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A New York man allegedly sought not one, but two mail-in ballots on behalf of his deceased mother, according to officials.

The New York Post reports:

Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini charged Wayne Tappe, a 57-year-old registered Democrat from Water Mill in the Hamptons, with two counts of offering a false instrument, a class-E felony. […]

The Suffolk County Board of Elections reported receiving two applications to vote via absentee ballot from Lucille Tappe of Commack. The applications for absentee ballots were signed in Lucille Tappe’s name on Sept. 4 and Oct. 6. But the Suffolk elections agency had been notified in June by the state Health Department that Lucille Tappe died on June 16. The Suffolk BOE also received applications for absentee ballots from son Wayne Tappe on Sept. 9 and in March.

“Voting is the foundation of our democracy, and we will not tolerate any violation of the election process here in Suffolk County,” Sini said in a statement.

“My office is committed to investigating any and all instances of alleged voter fraud and prosecuting anyone who attempts to violate the security of our elections,” he added.

Tappe faces one to four years in prison if convicted.

Sini’s announcement comes after a man was charged with voter fraud in Manatee County, Florida, after allegedly requesting a mail-in ballot for his dead wife. According to the Herald-Tribune, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office opened an investigation Larry Wiggins, 62, in September after Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Mike Bennett flagged the ballot request.

“The thing we’re pushing is we want people to know no matter what county you’re in, in Florida every supervisor in Florida is dedicated to make sure we have fair and honest elections,” law enforcement said in a statement at the time.

“Our message is that the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections will prosecute any attempt at voter fraud. If you are caught, we are committed to prosecute,” the statement continued.

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