A Republican elections commissioner in Rensselaer County in New York was arrested Tuesday on charges he unlawfully used the names and dates of birth of voters to fraudulently apply for absentee ballots.
Jason Schofield, 42, was arrested outside his home on Tuesday by the FBI and charged with 12 felony crimes. Schofield entered a not-guilty plea in the court of U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel J. Stewart, and was released on his own recognizance without objections.
Schofield faces as much as five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of post-imprisonment supervised release of up to three years on each of the 12 counts he faces.
The indictment accuses Schofield of using an online state Board of Elections portal to request absentee ballots on behalf of eight voters who had no interest in voting, did not request absentee ballots and didn’t know that Schofield was using their personal information to obtain the ballots. The indictment alleges the official “falsely certified” that he was the person requesting the ballot when he entered the voters’ names and dates of birth in the portal.
The ballots were subsequently filled out and submitted in the 2021 local primary election, the general election, and sometimes both.