Bruce Bartman, a 70-year-old registered Republican resident of Marple, Delaware County Pennsylvania, is facing two felony counts of perjury and one count of voting unlawfully after casting an absentee ballot for Trump in the name of Elizabeth Bartman, his long-deceased mother.
At a news conference on Monday, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said Bartman used his mother’s driver’s license to successfully register her to vote, get a mail-in ballot, return it, and vote in her name, despite her death over a decade ago.
Bartman is also accused of registering his deceased mother-in-law to vote, but apparently didn't receive an absentee ballot for her after being sent a notice asking to confirm that she was dead, which he reportedly falsified and returned, but did not proceed further. The mother-in-law apparently died in 2019.
Bartman has been arraigned and released on a $100,000 bail. He is due in court for a preliminary hearing next month and is reported to have told investigators that he did what he did to reelect Trump as president.
Samuel Stretton, Bartman’s lawyer, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that his client did “something stupid” out of “political frustration” and was “very sorry” for his crime.
Stollsteimer touted the 2020 election as “the most secure…in our lifetimes,” and said the Bartman's case was “the only known case of a ‘dead person’ voting” in his county, “conspiracy theories notwithstanding.”
Still, “the fact that Mr. Bartman was able to register two deceased individuals through the Commonwealth’s online voter registration system should trouble our state lawmakers,” the district attorney added.
Voter Fraud Claims
Pennsylvania is one of six states where the Trump campaign has alleged widespread voting fraud involving mail-in ballot dumps, rigged voting machines, and other plots. The president has complained about mail-in ballots and their alleged propensity for fraud for months, claiming they are easier to forge, steal, or otherwise manipulate, given a lack of supervision by election officials. Democrats have largely dismissed Trump’s claims, with some accusing him of trying to use the mail-in vote issue as a means to illegally secure a second term.
On 14 December, the Electoral College formally certified Biden’s win, with Congress now set to hold a joint session to finalise the vote on 6 January. Trump continues to refuse to concede the race.
On Sunday, the Trump campaign filed a petition with the US Supreme Court in a bid to challenge a decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to “illegally [alter] Pennsylvania’s mail balloting law immediately before and after the 2020 presidential election.”