Ballot fraud trial begins in Troy - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Ballot fraud trial begins in Troy

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TROY, N.Y. - The Troy voter fraud trial gets underway on Tuesday for former Board of Elections Commissioner Ed McDonough and former Troy Councilman Michael LoPorto.

McDonough and LoPorto are both accused of taking part in a scheme to steer the selection of a third party candidate in the Working Family's party primary election in 2009 by forging absentee ballots.

LoPorto and McDonough were indicted on charges of Criminal Possession of Forged Documents last January.

Tuesday morning, Special Prosecutor Trey Smith laid out the case against the two Troy politicians calling their alleged plan a "con game."

Smith began his opening statements on Tuesday by explaining to the jury how absentee ballots work and what he believes is a systemic problem within the Rensselaer County Board of Elections which led to the "breeding ground of problems in that group," Smith said.

Smith said he will bring forward witnesses in the trial, including voters whose names were on the absentee ballots as well as political operatives who gain immunity by testifying. He also says he will present DNA evidence in the form of McDonough's saliva on a fraudulent ballot envelope flap.

The attorney for LoPorto, Michael Fiet, and the attorney for McDonough, Brian Premo, then gave their opening statements in court on Tuesday, claiming the men were "just doing their jobs" and had nothing to do with any fraud.

McDonough is charged with 38 counts of 2nd-degree Forgery and 36 counts of 2nd-degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument. LoPorto faces 29 counts of 2nd-degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument charge, a judge dismissed forgery charges against him earlier this month.

Both men face up to seven years in prison if found guilty.

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