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Courts & Justice

Two Suburban Philadelphia Women Charged With Trying To Vote For Deceased Mothers

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John Bazemore
/
AP

Two suburban Philadelphia women are facing misdemeanor voter fraud charges after authorities allege they completed mail-in ballots for the November 2020 election by signing the names of their deceased mothers.

Bucks County prosecutors say Danielle Dooner, 56, of Buckingham Township and Melissa Ann Fisher, 51, of Quakertown were both charged by summons with third-degree misdemeanor violations of provisions relating to absentee and mail-in ballots.

Prosecutors said Dooner's mother died Sept. 29 but they allege her daughter completed the mail-in ballot for the 2020 General Election for her mother, signing the declaration purporting to be her mother on Oct. 7. Prosecutors cited handwriting analysis in alleging that both application and ballot were signed by Dooner, not by her mother.

Prosecutors also cited handwriting analysis in alleging that Fisher signed the application and ballot for the 2020 General Election for her mother, who died Sept. 21, and on Oct. 7 signed the declaration purporting to be her mother.

Prosecutors said they didn't know the party registrations of either the defendants or their mothers, nor which candidate they voted for. Neither ballot was counted or opened.

Court documents don't list attorneys representing the defendants; messages seeking comment were left Tuesday at possible numbers for them.

District Attorney Matt Weintraub said detectives spent months investigating 22 voter complaints and ultimately found no “widespread or systematic election fraud" in the county. “In each of these cases, the system caught the fraud first, as it was designed to do,” he said.