One of two men tasked with overseeing elections in a New York county has resigned months after being accused of voter fraud.
In a one-sentence statement on Facebook Wednesday night, Dec. 28, the Rensselaer County Legislature said it had accepted the resignation of Republican Board of Elections Commissioner Jason Schofield.
The move comes months after Schofield, age 42, was led into a federal courtroom in Albany wearing handcuffs in September 2022 on a 12-count indictment charging him with using other people’s names and dates of birth to fraudulently apply for absentee ballots.
Schofield submitted the applications on the New York State Board of Elections website for elections held in Rensselaer County in 2021, prosecutors said.
He allegedly used the personal information of people who had no interest in voting that year, and who did not request absentee ballots or Schofield’s assistance in doing so.
Some of them had no idea that he was using their personal information, prosecutors said.
Schofield is accused of taking at least some of the absentee ballots to their rightful owners and having them sign their corresponding envelopes, but not actually vote.
This allowed him or another person to cast votes in the voters’ names, in primary and general elections in Rensselaer County in 2021, prosecutors said.
Following his arraignment, a federal judge ordered Schofield released on his own recognizance while he awaits trial.
He is expected to plead guilty to the charges in January, Yahoo News reports.
Each of the 12 counts carries a five-year prison term and a fine of up to $250,000.
Schofield’s arrest is part of a broader investigation by the FBI into allegations of voter fraud committed by public employees in Rensselaer County.
In June 2022, Republican Troy Councilwoman Kimberly Ashe-McPherson pleaded guilty to a felony charge after admitting that she fraudulently submitted absentee ballots in elections held in 2021.
She resigned from the council the following day.
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