POUGHKEEPSIE – Democrat current and past staff of the Dutchess County Board of Elections have charged that the 46 felony count indictment against Democrat Elections Commissioner Frances Knapp was “politically orchestrated” by the Republican Party.
An email electronically signed by Victoria Perry, Knapp’s current deputy, and Daniel French, her former deputy, as well as Kim Ferese, Ira Margulies, Steve Gold, David Gill, Kelly Hetrick, Devon DeFiore, Alida Ransom, Debbie Tierney, Ron Tice, Laura Weinel and Beth Sweeny, was sent from Perry’s personal email account.
“We see this attack for what it is – the GOP must eliminate every Democrat of strength,” Perry wrote. “Over the years, Fran has had to endure this and many other efforts to block Democrats from their right to free and fair elections. This is only one more obstacle thrown in our way.”
But, Dutchess County GOP Chairman Michael McCormick said it is a bogus charge to allege his party had anything to do with it.
“This is a legal issue of law and has nothing political about it at all,” McCormick said. “This whole investigation is into individuals that may or may not have some problems in terms of what they have done in terms of performance as commissioners at the board of elections.”
The supporters wrote that as a result of Knapp’s “staunch defense of voter rights and advocacy for Democratic ideals, she has been targeted time and again by the powerful Republican machine here in Dutchess County.”
The group said they are confident that Knapp will be cleared of all charges.
Knapp, who was charged with changing computer records regarding absentee ballots, was indicted on Tuesday. She showed up for work for a few hours the following day.