23 Jan 2013 Voter Fraud Doesn’t Exist
TRENTON – A Belleville man, one of the final defendants in a long-running Essex County voter fraud case, has been sentenced to five years in state prison for submitting fraudulent absentee ballots while working for the 2007 campaign of Teresa Ruiz for the New Jersey Senate in the 29th District.
John Fernandez, 61, learned his fate Dec. 20 while appearing before Superior Court Judge Robert C. Billmeier in Mercer County, N.J. Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced.
Fernandez, found guilty after a jury trial in Mercer County this past September, worked for the Essex County Department of Economic Development. He was ordered to forfeit his job and has been permanently barred from public employment in New Jersey.
Another Belleville resident, Gianine Narvaez, 39, pleaded guilty in March 2010 to third-degree charges of absentee ballot fraud and tampering with public records or information. Her sentencing is set for Jan. 11.
Narvaez, a former data processing technician for the Essex County Commissioner of Registration and Superintendent of Elections, has forfeited her job and public pension, and also is barred from public employment in New Jersey.
In Fernandez case, the jury found that he fraudulently tampered with documentation for absentee “messenger” ballots in the Nov. 6, 2007, general election, submitting them on behalf of voters who never received the ballots or had an opportunity to cast their votes, Chiesa’s office noted…
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Absentee ballot fraud, of course, is one of the types of voter fraud that voter ID requirements help to prevent.