Feds: Hoboken woman charged with committing vote-by-mail fraud in 2013

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A Hoboken woman has been charged with committing vote-by-mail fraud in the 2013 general election, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced. 

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Lizaida Camis, 55, of Hoboken, is charged with a violation of the Travel Act for causing the mails to be used to aid voter bribery contrary to New Jersey state law, Carpenito said in a statement.

Under New Jersey law, registered voters are permitted to cast a ballot by mail rather than in person.

To receive a mail-in ballot, voters must complete and submit to their county clerk’s office an Application for Vote By Mail Ballot (VBM application). After the application is processed, voters receive a mail-in ballot.

From October 2013 through November 2013, Camis agreed to pay certain Hoboken voters $50 each if those voters applied for and cast mail-in ballots for the November 2013 Hoboken municipal election, according to the criminal complaint.

Camis provided these voters with VBM Applications and then delivered the completed applications to the Hudson County Clerk’s office.

After the mail-in ballots were delivered to the voters, Camis allegedly went to their apartments and, in some cases, instructed the voters to vote for the candidates for whom Camis was working.

Camis promised the voters that they would be paid $50 for casting their mail-in ballots and told them that they could pick up their checks after the election at an office on Jefferson Street in Hoboken, officials said.

Bank records show that voters living in Hoboken received $50 checks from entities associated with the campaigns that employed Camis.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office did not specifically identify where the checks came from, only stating they were written by “a political action committee.” The criminal complaint further states that at least voters can corroborate the VBM scheme.

Camis faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

In November 2013, then-incumbent Mayor Dawn Zimmer defeated Ruben Ramos, an assemblyman at the time, and Tim Occhipinti, the 4th Ward councilman heading into the race.

Back in 2010, Mayor Ravi Bhalla, then a councilman, filed a lawsuit alleging that 77 out of 79 VBMs delivered by Occhipinti’s council campaign were filled out by residents who were later paid $40 by the campaign to work Election Day, according to The Hudson Reporter.

Speaking on behalf of the Hoboken Fair Housing Association, Cheryl Fallick said that the aftermath of the 2013 rent control ballot question prompted an attorney they were working with to present information to law enforcement.

“HFHA was pleasantly surprised to see tangible action with regard to Hoboken’s ongoing vote-by-mail issues. This problem has plagued Hoboken’s elections for a very long time,” she said in an email.

“The court challenge to the 2013 election victory for tenant protections provided the opportunity, with the help of NJ Appleseed who represented the HFHA, to bring this long-standing problem to light. After the challenge was withdrawn, it is my understanding that Renee Steinhagen, of NJ Appleseed, brought our files and information to the U.S. District Attorney who, we understand, has been investigating since that time.”

She continued that the HFHA anticipates this is the first of several indictment that will come down in connection to voter fraud.

U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, and special agents of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christina Scaringi, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest.

14 COMMENTS

  1. This is really sad. Didn’t Mike Russo tell us that there was no voter fraud in Hoboken just recently? I remember him saying that at a council meeting. This sounds bad for the Pupie Mason gang. They were in bed together deep in that 2013 election. Wonder who might be singing? Sing little birdie, sing a song.

    • Yeah, Russo said that in a council meeting this year when other council members Peter Cunningham, Jen Giattino and Tiffanie Fisher recounted their problems encountering voter fraud in Hoboken. It was shocking.

      Russo is the back room pal of Ravi Bhalla, peas in a pod. Don’t forget it!

      • You did it! I was afraid you would forget to make this story about Bhalla who has no record of abusing VBMs. You are my hero!

        • Wait, the Horse is a hero? You mean for uncovering all the voter fraud in Hoboken? Yeah, that’s really something. Better than cutting backroom deals with the Russo Syndicate, voter fraud deniers. Great work Ravi!

          We’ve always been at war with those anti-voter fraud council members! Yay Ravi!

          • Hooray! More proof-free innuendo about corruption and backroom deals from my Hero Horse! You are so good at finding voter fraud. That terrible democrat loser graphics has never found any. You did everything while she watched! That’s why you are the Hero Horse. Please do a report on Bhalla’s voter fraud! You have the proof! You can add it to the report when you prove he made the flyers! Fire Ferrante now! Replace that lying incompetent with my Hero Horse!

  2. This poor girl they used her, the ones that actually paid for the votes are the ones to do time. She don’t have a pot to p-ss on.
    They used someone that is vulnerable, someone that lives in HHA.
    Someone to do their dirty work.

  3. I will write lots of limericks and puns about this while people I support continue to turn a blind eye to VBM fraud among their own allies because everything is funny, funny, funny! Looking forward to Ruben and MDF’s re-election campaigns in which there’s nothing to see here for my BFFs Tiffie and Jenny to have to lose sleep over.

    There once was a giant reformer
    Who backed himself into a corner
    Signed on with OG
    VBM Fraud, who, me?
    Now his main platform is Hoboken’s Daily Stormer

Comments are closed.