Crime Long Island man filed two forged absentee ballots in dead mom’s name: prosecutors
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The topic of mail-in voting has been a point of focus and controversy throughout the 2020 election season. President Donald Trump has consistently "warned" Americans about the dangers and frauds that are attached to mail-in voting through the use of false information and the distortion of the mail-in voting practice. © Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty A woman holds up a mail-in ballot during the Massachusetts state primary on September 1 in Boston. On the other hand, Democrats have expressed their belief in Trump's motivation to depress voter turnout rather than to prevent voter fraud.
A Long Island man, less than three months after burying his mother, sought two absentee ballots in the dead woman’s name for the Nov. 3 presidential election, authorities charged Friday.
Wayne Tappe, 57, of Water Mill, L.I., filed a pair of doctored applications using his mom’s name. The requests, supposedly signed on Sept. 4 and Oct. 6, were sent to the Suffolk County Board of Elections on behalf of the late Lucille Tappe, officials said.
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Handwriting analysis showed Wayne Tappe forged her signature on the applications, authorities said.
According to her obituary, the 90-year-old Lucille — surrounded by family —died peacefully in her sleep from SARS-coronavirus complications on July 16.
The surviving Tappe was charged with two counts of offering a false instrument for filing and faces a maximum sentence of 1 1/3 to four years in prison. He also filed a pair of absentee ballot applications in his own name — one in March, the second in September, prosecutors alleged.
“Voting is the foundation of our democracy, and we will not tolerate any violation of the election process here in Suffolk County,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini. “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.”
The BOE sent all the applications to the DA’s office for investigation, leading to the charges. Tappe is scheduled for a Nov. 5 arraignment in Suffolk County First District Court — two days after the Election Day polls close.
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Many Americans are concerned about the risk of catching COVID-19 at the polls. They also worry about their vote being counted.The 2020 election is on track for record voter turnout as the nation battles the COVID-19 pandemic, a fight for racial equality and an economic recession. More than 35 million people have already voted.