A Queens guy lively in Democrat and South Asian circles was indicted Tuesday for allegedly casting 20 absentee ballots belonging to other voters, Queens District Lawyer Melinda Katz stated.
Abdul Rahman, 32, pleaded not guilty and was requested to return to court docket next thirty day period, the district lawyer said. His attorney declined to remark.
Rahman, who was a Democratic prospect for judicial delegate in the 38th Assembly District in 2022, was accused of casting 20 ballots in the point out Senate’s 15th District principal in August 2022, but prosecutors mentioned he utilized to obtain 118 absentee ballots, and 32 of these applications have been accepted.
Vincent Ignizio, Board of Elections deputy govt director, did not reply to job interview requests, but explained in a statement, “The Board of Elections in the Metropolis of New York is happy to after yet again have discovered and referred an election integrity situation to regulation enforcement.”
Phone calls and email messages to Queens Democratic Bash officers ended up not quickly returned.
Prosecutors did not say for whom Rahman forged ballots. One particular of the condition Senate candidates up for election that year, Japneet Singh, explained Rahman was lively in the South Asian group companies and served him with his marketing campaign.
“I will not know wherever his politics lie, but in conditions of how considerably he does for the community, like a whole lot of charity things, which is wherever I know him,” Singh claimed in a mobile phone interview.
Questioned whom Rahman might have cast the ballots for, Singh stated, “I would hope it would be for me, but I am not absolutely sure.”
Rahman has made a number of modest donations to different Democrats above the past quite a few decades together with Phil Ramos for point out Senate., Melinda Katz for district legal professional, and Anna Kaplan for condition Senate.
Prosecutors identified the alleged fraud following a voter, Jordan Sandke, tried to vote at his regional polling area in Richmond Hill, Queens, officers stated. Sandke was told that mainly because he now asked for an absentee ballot, he wouldn’t be equipped to vote in person, according to the district attorney.
“Shocked,” Sandke claimed in a telephone job interview. “I was just shocked something like that could come about.”
Investigators observed Sandke’s absentee ballot software mentioned, which also included his title, address, day of birth and signature. The software detailed Rahman as an approved representative to choose up the ballot.
Sandke stated he did not know Rahman, nor did he authorize his ballot to be picked up.
Prosecutors claimed Rahman visited the Queens County Board of Elections and dropped off 118 absentee ballot purposes, all of which specified him as authorized to pick up the ballots.
The law for absentee ballots was narrowed in 2021 prohibiting voters from both of those requesting an absentee ballot and also casting a ballot at a polling site. This change made it simpler to detect ballot fraud.