An allegation of voter fraud in Milford Borough was discounted by the Pike County Commissioners, December 20th, following an investigation by the County Elections Office.

MILFORD - An allegation of voter fraud in Milford Borough was discounted by the Pike County Commissioners, December 20th, following an investigation by the County Elections Office.

On November 22nd, the Elections Office was notified by letter that irregularities may have happened in the voter registrations in Milford Borough, that could have affected the outcome of the November election.
The writer of the letter, whose identity was not disclosed, brought attention to 46 names in the publicly available voter registration records. The issue was that addresses given were for businesses that have a Milford address, rather than for the home of the voters. The question was raised, if all these voters actually live within the borough limits of Milford and are therefore entitled to vote in Milford Borough?

Following an investigation by the Board of Elections and District Attorney Ray Tonkin, they concluded that there is no evidence of a concentrated effort to register voters unlawfully to impact the 2017 borough elections.

No race with candidates on the ballot was decided by the questionable voters who actually cast a ballot in the election, the Commissioners’ statement reads.

Commissioner Chairman Matthew Osterberg added that this was not specific to any one party; the 46 registered voters, he said, were “across the board” including Republicans, Democrats, Green Party and others.

After receiving the letter, the employees of the Elections Office extracted the voting records of the 46 names listed. The records show the voter registration, voting history- specifically if they voted in Milford Borough in the 2017 municipal election, and other publicly available information.

This review determined that only eight of these 46 persons cast a ballot in the Milford Borough election in 2017. Of those eight, three were also registered in New York State. “However, none of those three individuals also cast a ballot in New York State, and could lawfully cast a vote in Pike County,” the statement reads, noting that the addresses they presented were residential addresses in Milford Borough.

The next five individuals each had registered to vote in Milford Borough in the past, and had voted there previously. The Commissioners noted that four of these addresses used to register to vote were for commercial addresses in Milford Borough to which the registered voter had a connection prior to the 2017 election.

The last was an address that could not be located at a physical location, although the person registered is a known resident of Pike County.

County Solicitor Tom Farley said that he thinks these the people that used their business address, did so unintentionally, not realizing that cannot use that address to register to vote.

Each of these five registered voters are being notified by the Board of Elections to educate them to the rule that they must be registered to vote at their residence. They are being directed it take corrective action.
“In the event they again cast a ballot using an address that is not a place they inhabit as their residence, the information will be forwarded to the District Attorney for review to determine if criminal prosecution can be sustained in court,” the Commissioners’ statement reads.

D.A. Tonkin reviewed the materials pulled by the Election Office employees, and concurred with the assessment ad actions of the Election Board, the statement concluded.

Asked why this complaint came up now, Osterberg said, “I think people are paying more attention to what’s going on in the voting, to make sure people are properly registered as to where they are voting, and I think that’s important.”

Also discussed:

Pike County Commissioners will meet on Thursday, December 28 at 9 a.m., to vote on the 2018 budget and tax rate. The Commissioners meet Tuesday, January 2nd at 9 a.m. to re-organize, and will convene on Wednesday, January 3rd at 9, for their regular meeting. The courthouse addition is expected to be completely occupied in April or May 2018, Osterberg said. The construction will be done sooner, but there is a lot of coordination involved to move the affected departments, including Probation Department, Sheriff’s Office and Courts into the building. The $8 million project broke ground in June 2016; the contract called for completion by June 2018. Commissioners approved an agreement for consulting services from Manzi1 Consulting, to explore non-union correctional facility employee benefits. The goal is to encourage retention and to fill positions.

The Commissioners meet on the first and third Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the Pike County Administration Building, 506 Broad St., Milford.