A former Democrat congressman, who was expelled from the House of Representatives in 1980 after getting caught taking bribes in what turned out to be an FBI sting, pleaded guilty to multiple election fraud charges this week after the U.S. Department of Justice charged him with bribery, falsifying voting records, stuffing ballot boxes, and more election crimes in Pennsylvania.
According to U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams, 79-year-old Michael “Ozzie” Myers admitted to bribing Philadelphia election judge Domenick J. Demuro, who already pleaded guilty in 2020, during the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 state elections for $300 to $5,000 per election and then telling him to lie about falsely inflating votes.
Demuro, who “was responsible for overseeing the entire election process and all voter activities of his Division in accord with federal and state election laws,” then manipulated the voting machines in his respective ward and division in a way that satisfied Myers’ desire to “illegally add votes for certain candidates of their mutual political party in primary elections,” especially those clients who paid him “consulting fees.”
“Some of these candidates were individuals running for judicial office whose campaigns had hired Myers, and others were candidates for various federal, state, and local elective offices that Myers favored for a variety of reasons,” the DOJ noted in a press release.
Myers pulled the same stunt with another South Philadelphia election judge Marie Beren, who also pleaded guilty in 2021 to her role in the fraud.
“Myers acknowledged in court that on almost every Election Day, Myers transported Beren to the polling station to open the polls. During the drive to the polling station, Myers would advise Beren which candidates he was supporting so that Beren knew which candidates should be receiving fraudulent votes. Inside the polling place and while the polls were open, Beren would advise actual in-person voters to support Myers’ candidates and also cast fraudulent votes in support of Myers’ preferred candidates on behalf of voters she knew would not or did not physically appear at the polls,” the DOJ stated.
The pair also used cell phone communication to notate in real-time how many votes they faked versus how many were real.
“If actual voter turnout was high, Beren would add fewer fraudulent votes in support of Myers’ preferred candidates. From time to time, Myers would instruct Beren to shift her efforts from one of his preferred candidates to another. Specifically, Myers would instruct Beren ‘to throw support’ behind another candidate during Election Day if he concluded that his first choice was comfortably ahead,” the press release continued.
Much like Demuro, Beren then falsified poll books “by recording the names, party affiliation, and order of appearances for voters who had not physically appeared at the polling station to cast his or her ballot in the election” and balanced the list with the ballots recorded by voting machines before certifying the tainted results.
Myers’ guilty plea adds to the long list of systemic voting issues and election law violations already plaguing Pennsylvania, where voters recently waited weeks to hear the results of the U.S. Senate Republican primary.