Charges Announced Against Judge In Pennsylvania Democrat Primary Election Tampering Case
A Pennsylvania judge has been charged with two misdemeanors related to the tampering of a Democrat primary election in July.
Judge Claims Innocence In Case
Judge Everett “Erika” Bickford was accused and charged with two misdemeanors for tampering with the ballots of the Democrat primary race for Pennsylvania state representative between incumbent Peter Schweyer and challenger Enid Santiago.
Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin announced the charges against Bickford on Monday.
They related to two violations of the electoral code: insertion and alteration of entries in documents, and prying into ballots, The Morning Call reported.
Bickford claimed she was innocent during an interview with detectives, and said she had simply “darkened” the bubbles that some voters had chosen in their ballots, denying she had ever changed or altered ballots in any way.
She said the bubble darkening happened around 30 times, and she also “trimmed” the edges of ballots, supposedly so that they would be accepted into voting machines.
Bickford is set to plead not guilty, claiming her actions were moral and “done with good intentions.”
Democrat Challenger Encourages Voters To Write Her In
Bickford was not charged with changing the course of the election, of which Schweyer defeated Santiago by just 55 votes. In the 3rd Ward overall, Santiago beat Schweyer 95-52 votes, but lost 22-65 at the 3rd Ward polling place Bickford oversaw.
In a Facebook post, Santiago said that “the election was still certified despite fraud against my campaign,” and encouraged her supporters to “stand together against corruption,” saying that they should write her in come polling day.
There has been no ruling that the elections must take place again, despite the charges against Bickford.
Charges were brought against Alex Mendez, the supposed winner of the election, along with three other men, including a councilman.