Allegations of North Philadelphia election fraud addressed in court

    While no winner has been certified in a disputed North Philadelphia legislative race, city elections officials today held a hearing on allegations of election day bullying and vote fraud.

    While no winner has been certified in a disputed North Philadelphia legislative race, city elections officials today held a hearing on allegations of election day bullying and vote fraud.

    City Commissioners heard the election judge from one polling place say partisans of State Representative Angel Cruz physically barred challenger Jonathan Ramos from the building, creating a disturbance that intimidated some voters.

    Election officials say they’re reviewing what happened so they can improve future elections.

    But Cruz says the hearings are political witch-hunt. Commission chair Marge Targlione, he notes, is a Democratic ward leader. Her daughter is a state senator and her son-in-law is a ward leader, both of whom opposed Cruz in the election.

    Tartaglione says she has a duty to investigate election complaints.

    “Now being in politics for 50-something years, I know almost all the ward leaders and a lot of committee people. When something comes up, should I recuse myself?” says Tartaglione.

    The state attorney general’s office is investigating. Unofficial returns give Cruz a narrow win in the primary, but the courts will ultimately decide who prevails.

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