September 19, 2017- The votes have been “re-canvassed” and the absentee votes did not change the outcome. Chin defeated Marte.
September 13, 2017- It seems that Margaret Chin defeated Chris Marte by fewer than 200 votes. However, the election board has not officially called the race and seems to be investigating. Given that Aaron Foldenaur uncovered 69 cases of illegally registered voters for Chin (see below), then Chin’s alleged voter fraud easily could have accounted for her win.
In the course of campaigning door-to-door in Chinatown, City Council candidate Aaron Foldenauer discovered what seems to be an elaborate scheme by incumbent Margaret Chin to set up fraudulent mail addresses to register fake voters. He filed an official complaint with the NYC board of elections (click here for the complaint in PDF), which reads as follows:
New York City Board of Elections
Re: Report of Potential Voter Fraud in Lower Manhattan
I am an attorney-at-law and a candidate for New York City Council. I am writing to alert you that during the course of my campaign, my volunteer staff and I uncovered evidence of voter fraud in Lower Manhattan. This voter fraud centers around the deceptive registration of voters at P.O. Boxes, instead of at actual places of residence—which unlawfully allows even nonresidents to bypass the law and vote in New York City even if they don’t live here.
We have uncovered this unlawful activity at nine different locations in Lower Manhattan.
Given that we have been able to conduct only a cursory investigation with the limited resources available to us, our findings are likely to be only the tip of the iceberg.
At this time, I respectfully request that the Department of Investigation and the New York State and City Board of Elections take the following immediate actions:
- remove fraudulently and improperly registered voters from the voter rolls;
- dispatch independent election observers to polling places in Lower Manhattan to
prevent this and any additional voter fraud; and
- conduct a thorough investigation of the matter as soon as possible.
My volunteer team and I discovered the fraud while going door-to-door campaigning in
Lower Manhattan. To our surprise, we encountered several locations on the voter address list that were not in fact residential buildings. Instead, they were U.S. Post Offices, UPS Stores, and other non-residential locations that provided mailbox services. It became clear to us that this meant that voters had registered to vote without a true residential address, and effectively used a P.O. Box as their residence on their voter registration form. This is illegal under New York law. See N.Y. Election Law § 6217.5(a)(1) (voter registration requirements); New York voter registration form, http://www.vote.nyc.ny.us/downloads/pdf/forms/boe/voterreg/voterregenglish.pdf).
Upon first glance at the addresses in question, they do not appear to be P.O. Boxes. Most likely, instead of writing “P.O. Box __” on the voter registration form, these voters had used the actual street address of the Post Office or mailbox service, and then under “apartment number” used the P.O. Box number. In doing this, the true nature of the address was concealed, and only when my staff and I visited these places in person did we discover the reality.
We have discovered nine of these locations so far: 14 Murray Street (UPS Store), 39
Bowery (Chinatown Mail Service, Inc.), 64 Beaver Street (UPS Store), 82 Nassau Street (UPS Store), 90 Church Street (U.S. Post Office), 114 John Street (U.S. Post Office), 128 East Broadway (U.S. Post Office), 217 Centre Street (UPS Store) and 350 Canal Street (U.S. Post Office). Approximately 69 people had improperly registered to vote using these as their residential addresses. Many of these apparent P.O. Box registrants voted as recently as last year.
Crucially, incumbent City Council Member Margaret Chin has ties to certain of these fraudulent voters. By far the largest concentration of these P.O. Box registrants (22 of them) are at 39 Bowery, which houses a private mailbox service called Chinatown Mail Service, Inc. This business is located in the Confucius Plaza buildings, the vote-rich towers that generally overwhelmingly support Margaret Chin. Additionally, a few of the people that registered to vote with these deceptive addresses were campaign donors to Margaret Chin.
I trust that you take matters of voter fraud very seriously and will look into the matter immediately. Should you need any additional information as you conduct your investigation, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.