Former Democratic Congressman Michael "Ozzie" Myers pleaded guilty this week to illegally stuffing Philadelphia ballot boxes by digitally "ringing up votes" in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. Myers also bribed a judge, who was indicted in 2020 for rigging a number of elections.
"Myers admitted in court to bribing the Judge of Elections for the 39th Ward, 36th Division in South Philadelphia, Domenick J. Demuro, in a fraudulent scheme over several years. Demuro, who was charged separately and pleaded guilty in May 2020, was responsible for overseeing the entire election process and all voter activities of his Division in accord with federal and state election laws," DOJ released in a statement. "Myers admitted to bribing Demuro to illegally add votes for certain candidates of their mutual political party in primary elections. 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."
"Myers would solicit payments from his clients in the form of cash or checks as 'consulting fees,' and then use portions of these funds to pay Demuro and others to tamper with election results. After receiving payments ranging from between $300 to $5,000 per election from Myers, Demuro would add fraudulent votes on the voting machine – also known as 'ringing up' votes – for Myers' clients and preferred candidates, thereby diluting the value of ballots cast by actual voters," DOJ continued.
If you are a political consultant, election official, or work with the polling places in any way, I urge you to do your job honestly and faithfully. That is what the public deserves and what the federal government will enforce. 2/2— U.S. Attorney Williams (@USAttyWilliams) June 6, 2022
This isn't Myer's first run-in with the law.
"One thing you can say about Ozzie Myers: his values have long been out of whack," FBI Philadelphia Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline Maguire said. "Decades ago, he valued a fake sheikh's bribes more than the ethical obligations of his elected federal office. This time around, he valued his clients' money and his own whims more than the integrity of multiple elections and the will of Philadelphia voters. Free and fair elections are critical to the health of our democracy, which is why protecting the legitimacy of the electoral process at every level is such a priority for the FBI."