A city council member in New York's Capital District has pleaded guilty to identity theft after sending in absentee ballots using other people’s names.
Kimberly McPherson, age 61, of Troy, copped to the charges Wednesday, June 8, in federal court in Albany.
Along with her plea, she agreed to resign from the Troy City Council, according to the US Attorney’s Office in the North District.
Prosecutors said McPherson illegally cast an absentee ballot using the name of another person in the 2021 primary election.
She did the same thing again, twice, in the general election, prosecutors said.
McPherson prevailed in both races and was re-elected to the Troy City Council.
She now faces up to five years in prison and could be fined up to $250,000.
Following her guilty plea, Troy Mayor Patrick Madden issued the following statement:
"I am extremely disappointed by today’s news of absentee ballot fraud uncovered by federal investigators involving a member of the City Council. Make no mistake about it: the filing of fraudulent absentee ballots was a purposeful effort to subvert the will of the voters in Troy.
These actions – intended to change the outcome of local elections – damage the institution of the City Council and further erode confidence in the election process and frankly, government in general. They also call into question the legitimacy of several close Troy City Council elections of recent years."
Madden said this was not an isolated event and said several other employees of Rensselaer County are under federal investigation.
He said the vacancy left by McPherson will be filled by Steven Figueroa, who ran against her for the seat and lost.
"One cannot discount the very real possibility that he would have been elected without the involvement of potentially fraudulent ballots," Madden said.
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