Stuffing the ballot box

Think it only happens in the third world? Think again.

Al Capone, the notorious American gangster, rigged elections in Chicago and ballot box stuffing has been a concern in many political elections in North America.

So is it surprising that it happens in condo elections?

YCC #42 ballot stuffing
On Saturday 19 November 2016, YCC #42 had their AGM. Two directors were up for re-election.

To insure an honest election and prevent proxy fraud the corporation's law firm was in charge of verifying all the proxies and were present, along with management personal at the registration prior to the meeting to insure a fair election. During the AGM, a security guard held on to the ballot box.

There were 175 units represented at the meeting in person so 175 ballots were distributed. These ballots were printed on coloured paper.

The candidates were all given the opportunity to speak to the assembled owners and the ballots were then collected. They were added to the proxies and the results tabulated.

When the counting was completed, the corporation lawyer told the meeting that there were 205 ballots in the box. Therefore, the results would not be announced and that he was going to take the ballots and proxies to his law office to review the proxies and ballots and provide a decision.

Since the winners won by over 100 votes, counting the proxies and ballots, the lawyer decided that the ballot stuffing did not affect the results.

There was nothing said about the management company's (an ACMO 2000 accredited firm) failure to insure the integrity of the blank ballots.

Another example
Here is an American case where two directors were arrested for forging proxies for their upcoming election. What I find interesting is that American police charged two directors with very serious criminal charges for trying to rig an election.

It is one thing to suspect that ballot boxes are stuffed and quite something else to read about a case that actually happened.

Second arrest made in ballot tampering case in Wild Acres
Pocono, Pennsylvania
By Beth Brelje—Pocono Record Writer
24 May 2014

A second arrest has been made in Dingmans Ferry in the Wild Acres Community Association ballot tampering case.

Wild Acres board Chairman Dmitry Kuperschmidt has been charged with forgery, identity theft, criminal use of a communication facility and tampering with records or identification. Magisterial District Judge Paul Menditto set bail at $40,000.

Earlier this month, Wild Acres board of directors secretary Myron Cowher was arrested for tampering with ballots for the upcoming board election. He faces charges of forgery, tampering with records and identity theft for taking possession of 70 ballots that were designated by name and lot number and belonged to property owners of Wild Acres.

Kuperschmidt played a role in the scheme, too, according to police.

According to state police in Blooming Grove records:

Wild Acres Property Manager Robert Depaolis told police that Cowher asked to speak with him outside of the Wild Acres administration office, so they walked out to Cowher's car in March or April.

Cowher asked Depaolis to put 200 ballots belonging to S.O.S. property owners (absentee ballots) in good standing so Cowher could use the ballots to vote for the candidates he wanted to win in the June board election.

S.O.S. properties are too small to build on so the property owners often do not vote in elections, although they do receive a ballot.

Cowher later called Depaolis to make arrangements to meet so Cowher could take care of the S.O.S. ballots.

Cowher told Depaolis that Kuperschmidt was aware and in agreement with pulling the ballots and casting votes for their favored candidates, police records said.

In a phone call monitored and recorded by state police, Depaolis called Kuperschmidt to let him know Cowher was coming to the office to get the ballots.

Kuperschmidt told him there was nothing to worry about and that Kuperschmidt and Cowher had already agreed about handling the ballots. He also said nobody would have any proof and advised Depaolis to turn off the office security cameras.

Police monitored Depaolis's office when Cowher came in to get the ballots. During that visit, Cowher relayed that Kuperschmidt told Cowher to make sure the ballot tampering worked because Kuperschmidt knew he was off the Wild Acres board if "she" won the election, police documents say.


04 May 2015

An election monitor who recorded alleged violations in a local Moscow-region vote was hospitalized with a ruptured spleen, which ultimately had to be removed, after being attacked by a group of men, a news report said.

Stanislav Pozdnyakov was monitoring an election on April 26 in the Moscow region city of Balashikha when he claimed to have witnessed the stuffing of a ballot box, the OVD Info news site reported Sunday. A group of eight men later arrived in a BMW with no license plates and severely beat him and another man Dmitry Nesterov, OVD Info reported, citing Pozdnyakov's friend Dmitry Georgiyevsky.

Pozdnyakov initially reported the incident to police, but noticed strange bleeding a few days later and was taken to Moscow's Sklifosovsky hospital where he reportedly had his spleen removed.

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