A Democrat candidate for City Council in 2009 took the witness stand today in the ballot fraud trial of former City Councilman, Michael LoPorto. Robert Martiniano testified that forging absentee ballots is a tradition in upstate New York amongst both parties, but that he had no idea it was occurring to his and LoPorto’s benefit in the Working Families Party primary in 2009.
Forging absentee ballots is a tradition in the Collar City and other upstate cities, but a former Democratic candidate testified Thursday that he didn’t know it was occurring in the 2009 Working Families Party primary.
“It’s was something that was just in the culture for both major political parties,” said Robert Martiniano, who was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for the City Council’s 2nd District.
Martiniano testified as a prosecution witness in the ballot-fraud trial of former City Councilman Michael LoPorto, whom he identified as a friend.
The fact that anybody could consider stealing somebody’s right to vote as ‘tradition’ notwithstanding, the statement coincides with previous statements made by Anthony Renna and Anthony DeFiglio, two Democrats who were found guilty of forgery and falsifying business records. In January, the pair told Fox News that “voter fraud is an accepted way of winning elections, and faking absentee ballots was commonplace.”
Republicans at the time denied such accusations. James Gordon, Chairman of the Troy Republican Committee said, having been a part of the election process for a number of years that he has, “never heard or seen anything resembling these actions.”
He added, “In fact, after the Democrats were caught in 2009 the records at the Board of Elections were searched. More cases of fraud were found dating back to 2007 or 2008, all attributed to Democrat candidates and operatives. Nothing from any GOP members.”
It’s unclear how Martiniano could have been aware of the ‘tradition’ of voter fraud – that it was embedded ‘in the culture’ – while simultaneously being unaware that it was used for his and LoPorto’s benefit back in 2009.
LoPorto faces 22 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument for allegedly handling ballots that he knew had been forged in a Democratic plot to steal the 2009 Working Families Party line for City Council.