- Associated Press - Friday, October 24, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - State police said Friday they are investigating an allegation of mail ballot tampering at Rhode Island’s largest homeless shelter, including whether the two men involved were Providence police officers working for the mayoral campaign of former mayor and twice-convicted felon Buddy Cianci.

The Providence Journal reported that Anne Nolan, president of Crossroads Rhode Island, asked state police to investigate when she heard the two men entered the shelter on Wednesday and asked residents to hand in mail ballots. In one case, a resident was asked to turn over a blank ballot, a felony, according to elections officials.

Providence Police Commissioner Steven Pare did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Cianci campaign issued a statement Friday saying it had no knowledge of any impropriety by its workers and would remove anyone from its outreach team “whose conduct violated the highest ethical standards.” Cianci’s campaign manager told WPRI-TV she didn’t know if any of Cianci’s campaign workers had been in in the shelter.

Nolan said a shelter security guard had escorted the two men through the shelter with a list of about 40 names from whom they wanted to collect mail ballots. She told the Journal the men did not identify themselves but the security guard didn’t question them because they looked official and carried clipboards.

Shelter resident Francis McKenna told the newspaper that one of the men had helped him sign up to get a mail ballot on Columbus Day weekend, and he urged him to vote for Cianci for mayor. He said the man was back on Wednesday and asked for his ballot. When he told him he hadn’t filled it out yet, the man offered to help him fill it out, then asked him for the blank ballot.

The campaign of Democratic candidate Jorge Elorza called on the Board of Elections to investigate and increase monitoring of voter fraud in the mayor’s race. Campaign spokesman David Ortiz said none of its workers had been working at the shelter.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide