Democrat Judge of Elections Charged in Massive Voter Fraud Scheme in Philadelphia
Top election official Marie Beren charged on four counts, including conspiracy
A top election official in Philadelphia has just been charged in a huge four-year-long voter fraud scheme that has a far-reaching impact at all levels of government.
Since the 2020 presidential election, Democrats have demonized Republicans for raising concerns about election integrity.
However, an explosive new report has revealed a staffer of one Philadelphia politician had been conspiring with a high-level elected official in a voter fraud scam that goes back as far back as 2015.
This week, Jennifer Arbittier Williams, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, filed federal charges against 67-year-old Democrat Marie Beren of South Philadelphia.
The charge alleges that Beren participated in a voter fraud scheme from 2015 through 2019 in three voting divisions in South Philadelphia.
Williams charged Beren, a staffer for Philadelphia City Councilmember Mark Squilla, with four counts of voter fraud and related offenses, including conspiracy.
According to prosecutors, the conspiracy involved Beren and an individual currently identified in the complaint only as Consultant #1, who is described as a former elected official who “held himself out as an effective and successful political operative capable of ensuring his clients’ electoral success.”
That consultant “exercised influence and control in Philadelphia’s 39th Ward by distributing cash payments and supporting family, friends, and allies for elective office in the 39th Ward, and installing Ward Leaders, Judges of Elections, and Democratic State Committee,” the complaint alleges.
At the time of the charges, Beren was serving as a staffer for Squilla.
However, she has previously served in plenty of other political roles in the city.
Prosecutors said that around 1984, this consultant “installed” Beren to the committee for the Democratic Party in the 39th Ward of Philadelphia.
In 1988, the consultant helped Beren become the judge of elections for the second district in the 39th Ward.
Prosecutors said two other divisions also voted at the same polling place, making Beren a “de facto judge of elections” for all three.
After serving in that role for 27 years, Beren stepped down and became a poll watcher in 2015.
At that point, prosecutors allege Beren hand-picked a replacement who would allow her to continue running the election process for the three divisions.
This setup allegedly remained the same from 2015-2019.
Starting in 2015, the consultant began directing Beren to add fraudulent voters to certain candidates, some of whom were clients of the consultant.
On Election Day, the consultant would drive Beren to the polling place and tell her how to cast fraudulent votes.
She then allegedly engaged in multiple illegal activities such as advising in-person voters to support a certain candidate, casting votes herself in other people’s names, and encouraging voters to cast additional votes for family members who were not present.
At the end of the day, prosecutors said Beren and other unnamed workers would add names to the voting book of people who never came to the polling place.
They allegedly did this to falsely match the number of fake votes cast.
While the alleged crimes occurred in the city of Philadelphia, the effects could potentially have been felt nationwide.
Prosecutors said the fraud occurred “at every level of government, from municipal to state to federal,” according to Philadelphia.
As of Wednesday, the outlet said prosecutors had not specified the number of fraudulent votes, nor whether any election results may have been altered by the scheme.
“These allegations are an encouraging sign that our partners in law enforcement continue to investigate and prosecute voter fraud at polling places, as they’d done in the past in conjunction with our office,” Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt said.
This scheme certainly does not prove that widespread voter fraud occurred in the 2020 presidential election, especially because these alleged crimes do not extend past 2019.
The story does prove, however, that voter fraud is eminently possible and does occur in America.
The complaint from Philadelphia was also not the only one to be filed this week.
On Monday, Michigan officials announced three women were charged with voter fraud relating to the 2020 election.
Despite these occurrences, many Democrats have continued to push legislation that would make similar crimes even easier to commit.
As the 2022 election approaches, election integrity will be one of the key issues on the ballot.