Longtime Democratic Campaign Strategist Charged with Election Fraud

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New Jersey Democratic campaign strategist James Devine was charged with election fraud for allegedly submitting more than 1,900 fake petitions to help secure a 2021 Democratic gubernatorial primary ballot spot for candidate Lisa McCormick, New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin announced Tuesday.

Devine was McCormick’s campaign manager and sent the fake voter certifications to the New Jersey Secretary of State’s Division of Elections via email in April 2021, but the New Jersey Democratic State Committee challenged his attempt days later, arguing that all the forms featured same the style of signature and at least one of the named voters was deceased, Platkin said.

A judge subsequently took McCormick off the primary ballot, and Devine is now charged with third-degree offenses concerning nomination certificates or petitions, tampering with public records or information and fourth-degree falsifying or tampering with records.

“Fraudulent acts like this erode faith in our government and the rule of law, and there must be consequences,” New Jersey Office of Public Integrity and Accountability Executive Director Thomas Eicher said in a release.

Devine could face more than five years in prison if convicted.

Devine has described himself as “a masterful Democratic Party campaign strategist,” and his LinkedIn profile says he was a political director for the New Jersey Democratic State Committee from 1992 to 1993.

He caused controversy in June 2017 by creating a “#HuntRepublicanCongressmen” hashtag on Twitter the day after an assailant shot Republican Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise and several others during a congressional baseball game practice.

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