Pro-Trump Activist Under Investigation For Possible Election Fraud In NYC Council Race


A booster of former President Donald Trump who falsely claimed election fraud within the 2020 presidential election with none proof of wrongdoing is probably going through expenses of election fraud himself.

Federal and state investigators are trying on the marketing campaign ways of Marko Kepi, a former U.S. Marine who ran within the Repblican major election to succeed Metropolis Councilmember Steven Matteo of Staten Island, following considerations from the NYC Board of Elections that he might have solid absentee ballots to tip the scales in his favor.

An inside Board of Elections memo obtained by Gothamist/WNYC, signed by Chief Clerk Don Bosco, detailed considerations about 1,050 absentee ballots picked up and dropped off at BOE workplaces by 4 Kepi marketing campaign staff. Most of the ballots had signatures that didn’t match voting data and, in at the least one case, the identify of a deceased individual was used to forged a vote. The memo additionally talked about that comparable points occurred throughout Kepi’s 2020 marketing campaign for State Meeting, a race he misplaced to Michael Tannousi.

In a subsequent letter despatched to the U.S. Justice Division and the New York Lawyer Normal’s workplace, the board’s common counsel, Hamalee Patel, requested for an investigation into the irregularities, a request that adopted a closed-door vote by the Board of Elections commissioners.

The NY Put up first reported on the BOE request. Each workplaces confirmed they acquired the request, however declined to remark additional. A BOE spokesperson didn’t return a request for remark.

The Staten Island District legal professional had been referred to the allegations by Kepi’s rival candidate David Carr, who works as Matteo’s chief of employees on the council.

“My workplace takes these allegations very critically, and can absolutely examine this matter to make sure the integrity and equity of our election system,” mentioned Staten Island DA Michael McMahon in a press release.

Chapin Fay, a spokesperson for Kepi’s marketing campaign referred to as the allegations a “pretend scandal ginned up by a political machine that doesn’t need all authorized votes to be counted.” Including that, “As soon as all of the votes have been counted, Marko Kepi would be the Republican nominee for Metropolis Council and it’ll turn into crystal clear this complete mess was merely determined marketing campaign ways.”

Carr, who pledged to mid-Island residents he’d “push again in opposition to the unconventional progressive agenda,” completed major night time forward of Kepi by 647 votes. With absentee ballots and affidavit ballots factored in, Kepi pulled forward by 33 votes. Kepi’s marketing campaign acquired an extra 731 absentee and affidavit votes in comparison with the 199 for Carr. When ranked-choice tabulations have been run, nevertheless, Carr managed to beat Kepi by 196 votes.

Kepi, who immigrated from Albania as a toddler, is a longtime booster of Trump, rallying assist for him when he confronted the outcomes of Robert Mueller’s probe into his marketing campaign actions. On the marketing campaign path, Kepi touted the medal of honor he acquired from Trump, although there have been questions raised concerning the medal’s authenticity.

A spokesperson for Carr’s marketing campaign mentioned they contested a whole lot of ballots the place signatures on the poll envelopes didn’t match the voters’ document. Additionally they discovered circumstances of duplicate votes wherein one individual requested and forged two absentee ballots, and two circumstances of a lifeless one who voted. Most of the contested ballots have been from voters of Albanian descent which Kepi alleged was an indication of anti-Albanian discrimination.

Carr pushed again, saying the proof their marketing campaign discovered was “so blatant it speaks for itself.”

“Lifeless folks can’t vote. Individuals who vote in individual don’t simply overlook they already voted by absentee ballots. Folks don’t dramatically change their signatures relying on what doc they’re signing,” he mentioned.

“Sadly, folks simply shrug after they hear the phrase election fraud,” Carr added, noting that they had approached the Staten Island District Lawyer attempting to do the proper factor. “That is greater than only a Metropolis Council race, it’s concerning the integrity of our electoral system and making certain that each actual vote counts.”