Collingdale man charged with voter fraud for filing absentee ballot for deceased individual
Media, PA -- Today District Attorney Katayoun M. Copeland announced the arrest of Harry Sandoe Maxwell, Jr., 79, of the 100 block of Lafayette Avenue in Collingdale, who surrendered to authorities on November 19, 2018, on voter fraud charges including forgery, tampering with recording, conspiracy to forgery and violations of the absentee elector, all first-degree misdemeanor charges.
On October 26, 2018, an investigation was launched by the District Attorney’s Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Special Investigations Unit into possible voter fraud. Detective Robert Lythgoe and Detective Lisa DeMartini met with Laureen Hagan, Chief Clerk of the Delaware County Bureau of Elections, who reported that her office received an application for an absentee ballot on October 25, 2018 for the General Election on November 6, 2018, for an individual who was deceased. Detectives confirmed with the Bucks County Coroner that this individual was deceased on April 23, 2017. The address on the absentee ballot application of the deceased individual was 144 Lafayette Avenue, Collingdale, owned by Harry S. Maxwell, Jr.
On October 29, 2018, Detective Lythgoe and Detective DeMartini went to the residence of Harry Maxwell. Detectives informed him about their investigation into an absentee ballot application. At that time, Maxwell immediately responded, "That's me, I'm guilty, I had someone sign the name.” He then provided detectives with an audio recorded statement in which he stated that he routinely picks-up “girls” in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia, and brings them back to his residence for the purpose of absentee ballot signatures. Further that one of the women that he brought back to his apartment, known only to him as Brooke, signed the name of the deceased individual on the absentee ballot application, at his request.
“Mr. Maxwell’s corrupt actions are an affront to democracy, as he violated one of our greatest privileges as citizens,” said District Attorney Katayoun M. Copeland. “In order to assist in protecting the integrity of our electoral system and ensure that all Delaware County residents can cast their ballot unimpeded, my office will continue to do everything in its power to uncover voter fraud and bring to justice those who try to manipulate the outcome of elections in Delaware County. Any reported violation of election laws will be investigated and prosecuted. I would like to commend the Delaware County Bureau of Elections for finding and reporting this issue, and commend CID Detective Robert Lythgoe and Lisa DeMartini for their swift investigation and arrest in this case.”
CRIMINAL CHARGES, AND ANY DISCUSSION THEREOF, ARE ALLEGATIONS AND ALL DEFENDANTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNLESS AND UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY.
OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY
DELAWARE COUNTY COURTHOUSE
MEDIA, PENNSYLVANIA 19063
KATAYOUN M. COPELAND JOSEPH A. RYAN
DISTRICT ATTORNEY CHIEF OF DETECTIVES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: November 20, 2018
CONTACT PERSON: Emily H. Harris, 610.891.4252