The Republican elections board commissioner in upstate Rensselaer County was detained Tuesday on suspicion of engaging in a brazen ballot fraud that allowed him to cast votes in voters’ names.
According to court documents, Jason Schofield applied for absentee votes for people who did not wish to vote and, in some cases, personally persuaded voters to sign absentee ballot envelopes, positioning himself or his associates to commit voter fraud in primary and general elections in 2021.
According to the 12-count indictment filed against Schofield, ballots were tallied from at least four voters who were asked to sign ballot envelopes but were not permitted to do so.
“Schofield was able to vote — or have others vote — in the RVs’ names,” according to the court filings, which use an abbreviation for registered voters.
The nine-page indictment was filed in the United States Northern District of New York District Court on Thursday.
According to the US Attorney’s Office in Albany, Schofield, 42, of Troy, New York, faces up to five years in prison on each of 12 charges of unlawful possession and use of a means of identity.
According to the Albany Times Union, Schofield was arrested by the FBI outside his home on Tuesday morning and entered a not guilty plea in court that afternoon.
Schofield has been discharged pending a trial before Judge Mae D’Agostino. According to the Times Union, he declined to comment as he exited his arraignment session.
According to the Times Union, he was subpoenaed earlier this year with a broad ballot investigation that resulted in a Troy city councilwoman pleading guilty to a count of identity theft.
A request for comment was not immediately returned by the Rensselaer County Board of Elections.
The elections commission is in Troy, around seven miles northeast of downtown Albany.
Rensselaer County, a swing county, supported former President Donald Trump in 2016 and Vice President Joe Biden in 2020.