We missed it when we wrote on Monday that the campaigns of State Senate hopefuls David Storobin and Lew Fidler are going to court this week to settle their neck-and-neck race for Carl Kruger’s seat, but an eagle-eyed reader noted an interesting bit in the court documents: Councilman Lew Fidler alleged that a paid consultant for David Storobin’s campaign submitted at least 120 fraudulent votes.

According to the court documents, which we’ve embedded below (allegations begin on page 6), Fidler’s team claims Alla Pometko – a resident of Brighton Beach’s Oceana condos – submitted 177 absentee ballot applications to the Board of Elections. Almost all of them claimed to represent disabled home-bound voters, and named Pometko as their agent to submit their ballots.

So far, that’s fine and dandy. Where it starts to get really suspicious, according to the campaign, is that of the 120 that were completed, every one of them appeared to be written in the same handwriting, and the voter signed the envelope with a mark instead of a signature – with Pometko again named as the witness to the mark.

And of those 120 “home-bound” voters, 16 still managed to show up on election day and cast a vote in person. According to the court documents, Fidler’s campaign thinks this is a sign that those voters were not aware that the document they signed was a ballot.

Pometko, herself not a registered voter, was paid at least $1,470 for her work as a consultant to the Storobin campaign, financial disclosure reports indicate.

The court documents also indicate Fidler is considering suing the Board of Elections for not returning up to 200 unsigned absentee ballots to the voter for a correction, despite receiving them with ample time to do so, and thereby disenfranchising them of their vote.

Document courtesy of Daily News’ Celeste Katz.

Fidler Petition

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  • http://twitter.com/Lostinservice Lostinservice

    So it’s $12.25/per vote in this election. Funny, I thought it would be just about tree-fiddy.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

       Nah, a buck three eighty.

  • Not Liberal

    Was this “story” a press release sent by the Fidler campaign? Why is it
    wrong to help someone fill out forms so long as the person himself signs
    it? Why would it be fraud that some people first ordered ballots, then
    voted when health or vacation plans can change?

    If there was real fraud, there would be police involvement. This wasn’t
    fraud, it’s another hit job by the increasingly desperate Lew Fidler and
    his liberal supporters.

    • Vik

      It is not only not wrong to help your neighbor – it should be encouraged.    What is wrong however is a voter fraud.  If you read attached documentation, you know that all 120 voters requested to be put on the absentee ballots permanently.  And than 16 of them forgot about it?  They are not only absent – they are absentminded as well.  Even more, all 120 of they are illiterate as well because they could not sign the envelop as required by law – they had to put an “X” on the envelop.So, no – I do not see anything wrong here just like you…

      • Not Liberal

        I just read the part about putting in a mark, and it says that it was a number who marked it, not everyone. I collected petitions for candidates before, and there are many people who can’t sign because their hands tremble or they have other illness.

        As to your second point, in every election there are people who fill out absentee ballots, then come in to vote at the polling site on election day. There hasn’t ever been an election where this didn’t happen.

        • levp

          “Most, if not all, of these applications were filled out in the same handwriting; they stated that the voter was disabled and wished to be placed on the permanent absentee list;”
          Keywords: “permanent absentee list”.  So, pursuant to the New York State Election Law and Rules:

          http://www.elections.ny.gov/NYSBOE/download/law/2012NYElectionLaw.html
          CODE ELECTION LAWCHAPTER SEVENTEEN OF THE CONSOLIDATED LAWSARTICLE 17 VIOLATIONS OF THE ELECTIVE FRANCHISESec. 17-132. Illegal votingAny person who:
          [...]3. Votes or offers or attempts to vote at an election, more than once; or,[...]6. Being an applicant for an absentee voter’s ballot, makes a material false statement in his application, or a person who makes a material false statement in a medical certificate or an affidavit filed in connection with an application for an absentee voter’s ballot; or,7. Not being a qualified absentee voter, and having knowledge or being chargeable with knowledge of that fact, votes or attempts to vote as an absentee voter; or,8. Fraudulently signs the name of another upon an absentee voter’s envelope or aids in doing or attempting to do a fraudulent act in connection with an absentee vote cast or attempted to be cast;[...]is guilty of a felony.

          This appears to be exactly the VOTING FRAUD Republicans claim to fight.
          Huh… Hypocritical Republicans.  Who would’ve thunk it?

          • ShadowLock

            People fail to read the small text sometimes…. or maybe people like David try to ignore it, thinking that no one will look that far.

            Smells like a Rat.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

          So did you read the part that stated the person who signed these ballots was a consultant hired by Storobin’s campaign? How did this person find the individuals who “needed” to vote by absentee ballot? How ethical is it for that individual to sign as a witness to their ballots?

          Being stupid and leaving a traceable trail does not make one less criminal/

          • Not Liberal

            Do Lisanne and Levp get some sort of an alert every time there’s a non-liberal comment that’s posted? They are all over this stuff.

            Nobody needs to read your opinion because we always know what it is. Your consistent position is to take the craziest assumption about every Republican discussed here and argue that it’s true.Both of you claim there was a crime, a felony in fact. Then why isn’t the police involved? Why didn’t Fidler go to the nearest precinct to file a police report? Why didn’t the judge in this case act to make sure that the felons are arrested? When cops read this story on this blog, why didn’t they go and bust the felons?Even the Fidler petition isn’t claiming that Storobin’s consultant *signed* any of these ballots. Helping someone, in particular a sick old person, fill out a form of any type and then letting them sign is perfectly legal, and every social worker  does that for all sorts of forms.That campaigns in the course of calling and door-knocking get requests from people for absentee ballots is hardly surprising. It would be surprising if it didn’t happen. It would show that the campaign is not actively reaching out to voters. Making sure that these people actually vote by delivering the ballots to them is also something that every campaign does. It’s just that usually nobody pays attention to absentee ballots because elections aren’t this close. I’ve been involved in many local campaigns, and every competitive race does this. I would be stunned if Fidler didn’t do it. That would be gross incompetence.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            Please read carefully. Pometko signed as the witness for the ballots in question.

            Standing over the voter as they “select” could be considered coercive.

            I don’t know what campaigns you have been involved with, but this is NOT proper form.

          • ShadowLock

             When people know they are wrong, they start to mumble about crap they have no idea about…. Like this person.

            They didn’t even read the petition and commenting about it like it’s their life goal….

          • BrooklynBus

            If all they did was to help a sick old person fill out the form and then let them sign it as you say happened, and there is nothing wrong with that, then why was it in the same handwriting?

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            And there is a question as to whether these people understood what they were signing. (often with merely an “x”) After all, !6 of them showed up to vote.

            How did they find these people? Did they run an ad, “Voters Wanted”?

            If people went door to door collecting votes I’d bet one could increase “participation” in election significantly. This would be a accompli fait if the individuals had no idea what they were signing.

            If this isn’t nipped in the bud it could start a troubling trend.

            This is almost as good as copying the names off of tombstones.

          • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

            Take it easy, man. I’ve been all over their stuff too, and to tell the truth they behaved a lot better to me than I did in return. Just state your case. 

                I know, the overwhelming opinion in the neighborhood isn’t to a conservative’s liking. That’s what southern comfort is for, I’ll share  some of the bottle with ya.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

             When I consider how you generally address issues I’m not that offended when you occasionally get frustrated because you’ve thought things out and come to a different conclusion, and probably feel at times that they are not being considered fairly. So I’m never personally offended by what you write. Your views are honest, and in the end that is what really matters.

          • guest

             Do not worry. Next Wednesday you will see how judge will act and who will be arrested for voter fraud.

  • BORN_IN_THE_USA

    I am with Lew Fidler on this one.  I have learned the hard way never to trust a Russian.  They will hug you and at the same time stab you in the back.  IMO, many will agree with me on this one. 

    But I am sure the moderator won’t like my post and will delete it.  No freedom of the truth or speech allowed here.  How sad that is.

    • ES

      You can say things on this site, which are not necessarily politically correct, and still avoid making sweeping generalizations about an entire ethnic group. You “learned the hard way never to trust a Russian” — OK, what way is that? What experience with every Russian (according to this post, there are approximately 350,000 Russians in NYC) qualifies you to state that no single Russian is trustworthy? Maybe some are not, but certainly some are. I know people who are not Russian and who are also not trustworthy… so? I think that kind of waters down your argument. Make your case, but you should be prepared to back it up with facts. Facts are one thing, and there’s no problem with writing facts or truth on the site, but when you wade into the waters of racial and ethnic discrimination and stereotyping, based on a couple of bad experiences you may have had, well… I wouldn’t be surprised if such a post would get deleted.

      • ShadowLock

         You Tell em Erica!

    • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

      Hey, I’m of Russian heritage, 2 generations ago, and I’m as honest as the day is long….. in Alaska…. in wintertime, that is.

      Hey, I worked with a couple of Russian guys. One would return pens from the office if he accidentally took them home. Another one chased after me because he owed me three cents from a lunch bill!

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

         Yep, most stereotypes are seriously flawed. People who believe them tend to ignore the evidence of their experience which prove them false.

    • http://www.njluxurymotors.com Arthur Borko

      My family is Russian, and I wouldn’t trust Strobin either. He looks and feels like a slimeball. However you can’t apply that to him just because he’s Russian.

    • guest

       where you really born in the US?

    • Russian

       How dare you are to say that all Russian immigrants will stab you in a back! May be it is necessary – for a reason!

    • guest

       Sometimes bigot also are born in the USA!

  • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

    I’m not going to address the fraud, we all know for both sides the ends justify the means these days.

      But I dusted off the old math statistics book (no, I mean, I literally dusted it off, it’s from 1978, and I maybe looked at it twice since then, I started to sneeze from the dust), to figure out what the odds are that an election would be as close as a 1 vote difference  or less in a voting sample of 20000. I’m assuming that people vote randomly.

       The answer I come up with is somewhat surprising. I come up with about 1/100. Thus, if you ran these guys 100  times, on one occasion, there’d be the one vote difference (or a tie).  I thought the odds would be longer than that. Then again, I’m not sure I trust my math – my skills are about as dusty as the book I dragged out.

       Also, if you ran these guys 100 times, by the 100th time, the voting sample size would be 2: Fidler and Storobin!

    • http://twitter.com/Lostinservice Lostinservice

      Probability of being a distance of 1 (or -1) from the origin in 1-dimensional random walk of 20,000 steps of -1,1? You should do it with a right step probability adjusted to the proportion of registered democrats to registered republicans in the district. See what the odds are then.

      • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

        nah,  I ain’t that fancy. I just used the usual normal distribution approximation to a random sampling of 20000 random votes, which is what’s normally used in such sampling.

         Good suggestion though!  If I have some time, I’ll write a little Monte Carlo program, which would basically run by executing your suggestion. Will be interesting to see if it comes out with a similar result to the normal approximation. It should unless I screwed up one technique (or both)

          Given the heavily democratic/republican registration, the probability would be too small for me to even look up on the charts of the normal distribution.

           Does anybody know the ratio of Democratic/Republican registration in this district.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

         Been thinking about this. In order to make a more precise algorithm one would then have to factor in the statistical probability of cross-party voting. That would not be so easy to ascertain. In the current political climate crossover is more common. But unique circumstances often are the cause.

        Statistical math gives me a headache.

        • http://twitter.com/Lostinservice Lostinservice

          The right step probability adjustment would still account for this because while it would give a higher probability towards taking a right step rather than a left, it would not determine the direction of each individual step taken. Even with say a .7000 probability towards taking a right step (or say
          voting democrat) there are still probable outcomes that suggest a
          republican victory. Probability is not deterministic, it can only give you an idea of how likely an event will occur, it does not dictate what does occur. You can flip a coin 1,000 times and the most likely outcome is you’ll have 500 heads and 500 tails, but in reality you might end up with 480 heads and 520 tails. Cross party voting would be that discrepancy of 40 flips in my example and is accounted for by the mean and standard deviation, which provides a center and range of outcomes that are most probable. Shorten that range and you’ll decrease the probability; increase the probability and you’ll have a large and pointless range.

  • ShadowLock

    Sounds like we have a Rat….

    Now can someone please explain to me why the Jewish community wants him to take that seat? Soooo Bad?

  • Purpledynasty

    Aw, come on guys – hurry up with these results. Lew’s parking permit at Borough Hall is going to expire soon! This only goes to prove one thing – the Liberal entitled politician will fight HARD for his position. Be DAMNED the constituents that crossed party lines in DROVES to rid the area of the blight of the Dem party cronies that have ruled the area forever. Lew “needs” to give the good working citizens of the southern Brooklyn shoreline its out-of-time-and-place Liberal Democratic voice. Don’t you hear him complaining about the plight of his future TEMPORARY constituents in Mill Basin – the Israeli and Russian Americans whose political future will be tied to that of Canarsie due to redistricting? Nah – he’s got bigger problems to worry about – like ensuring his SUV parking, and his next taxpayer-paid paycheck. A Liberal Democrat career politician – how unique in Brooklyn.

    • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

      I just love how political operatives invade the site, never having left a comment on any other issue, whenever there’s a campaign. Luckily, I believe in our regular readers’ ability to see through the partisan BS. If you work for a pol or a party, have the balls to use a real name. That goes for everyone, regardless of ideology.

      • Purpledynasty

         If I were a “political operative”, I’d use my real name. I’m not – but I really DO take your accusation as a compliment. I’ve always been a political junkie, and I HAVE partaken in other discussions (using this purpledynasty identifier) that result in replies from the “disqus” domain that seems to handle several publication blogs. In fact I’m mostly an Ayn Rand Objectivist, which USUALLY allies me with today’s Republican candidates.
        Now about your call for not using pseudonyms – who exactly appointed YOU the determiner of such identification, or is this just a feeling of entitlement that you have?

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

          It’s called being the editor of this news site.

          Notice the Blue Star next to his name.

          • Purpledynasty

            Seeing as how I’m in the majority of respondents – not using my given name to identify myself – I see no reason to do so. The site’s editor might have the ability to limit users to those using real, or real-sounding names, but the advantage of doing so is lost on this user. 

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            As Sheepshead Bites has sponsored events, and some of the commenters provide other content to the site as well, the actual identities of many here are known to the staff.

            It really comes down to content. Most of the regular commenters participate in discussions on a diverse range of subjects. In this instance, where the activities of political operatives have come under question, it would not be unusual for other other political operatives to show interest and comment. But more generally, we have seen in the past here that certain articles do attract interest and activity from people who have not participated previously. Quite often the content of the remarks seem to follow a pattern. Ned has become pretty good at recognizing that.

          • levp

            By the way, what was wrong with your previous nickname 11234Objectivist?

          • Purpledynasty

             Absolutely nothing at all – had I remembered its existence, I’d have used it for this thread as well. As for the previous question about linking all Disqus forums with a profile, I’m not really interested in partaking in prolonged political discussions with my mostly Liberal Democrat neighbors. I usually limit my political banter to my peers in the dslreports RedRoom forum.

        • http://www.njluxurymotors.com Arthur Borko

          If you use disqus on more then one site under the same name then why arent you logged in so it can link to your profile and we can read your political discourse elsewhere? 

  • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

    I know I was ridiculed by at least one person here for suggesting no more absentee ballots, but really. The desire not to disenfranchise some must be weighed against the utter corruption that is ensuing due to these absentee ballots. There better be another way to do these ballots or the whole election procedure is in doubt.  How long are we going to endure the unquestioned utter fraud and chaos that is ensuing due to absentee balloting? There’s virtually no control over them, as we see time and time again.

      

    • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

      Funny. I’m starting to think this way about elections in general.

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