There are various allegations of possible voter fraud across the country, against both parties, but nowhere does there seem to be a more unusual case than in Troy, New York.
A special prosecutor investigating allegations of voter fraud, Trey Smith, is collecting DNA from the majority of the city council...all Democrats. Five city councilmen, including the council president, as well as four other city and county public officials and political operatives, have been ordered to or have had their saliva swabbed for DNA samples to compare to absentee ballots and absentee ballot applications that were allegedly forged.
The investigation centers on what has been called "a massive voter fraud scheme," that involved absentee ballots for the Working Families Party, in September 2009. It has been alleged that Democrats tried to steal the primary election for city council and county legislature, by forging absentee ballots and ballot applications to ensure that their candidates also won the Working Families Party primary line.
'No comment," is what Democratic Council member Gary Galuski told us, as well as several other public officials who are under investigation.
But some were willing to talk about the scandal.
Democratic Councilman Michael LoPorto, who owns a popular restaurant, told Fox News he had "nothing to say," but denied any wrongdoing when we questioned him further.
"Did you do anything wrong?" we asked.
"Did you try to steal an election?"
"Did you forge any ballots?"
"No," LoPorto answered, when we interviewed him on the street before the start of this month's city council meeting.
A Working Families Party worker, Sarah Couch, who is not named in the investigation, has told state police investigators that LoPorto gave her what she believed were about 30 absentee ballots wrapped in a newspaper. But when the story broke last year, she says another councilman asked her to issue a Working Families Party press release that would "point blame at the Republican Party," and she refused to do so. At a meeting to discuss the scandal, she says one Democratic official started it by saying, "I want to make sure that this conversation isn't being recorded. Does anyone have any type of recording device?" He added, "...this is really, really bad and it needs to go away."
One of the others who allegedly gathered absentee ballot applications, former Troy Housing worker and Democratic Committeeman Anthony DeFiglio, told the state police about the unsuspecting voters. He said that "it was common knowledge that these people were never going to receive an absentee ballot. This is a political strategy to get control of a third party line."
DeFiglio claimed to investigators that the practice is "an ongoing scheme, and it occurs on both sides of the aisle. The people who are targeted live in low income housing and there is a sense that they are a lot less likely to ask any questions at a later date." He also said "what appears as a huge conspiracy to non-political persons, is really a normal political tactic that went out of control."
When the story first broke last year, numerous affidavits from voters said their applications were forged, including the reasons why they supposedly couldn't show up at the polls in person. Two of the applications cited a "bus trip to casino," as the reasons they could not vote. Those voters said the excuse, like others, was made up by someone else.
Jessica Boomhower told us her ballot application was faked, falsely saying she was attending a work conference in Boston. She told us she did not cast a ballot, even though there was one in her name submitted to the Board of Elections.
"I can't believe they thought they would get away with this," she told us. "They said they would make it easier for me to vote. That's not what happened...They decided they would vote for us," she explained, saying, "I am sure this goes on a lot in politics and it is very rare when they do get caught."
Brian Suozzo's absentee application said he was at home, recovering from a medical procedure. He also told us that was not true and he did not cast an absentee ballot, even though one was submitted in his name also.
"I never signed a thing," Suozzo told us. "You always hear about this stuff on the news, but to have it happen to me...that someone took my signature and voted with it, I feel extremely violated."
"This is Troy politics at its best, it's been going on forever," observed Troy City Council President Clem Campana, one of the five Democratic Council members under investigation. He told us he voluntarily gave up a sample of his DNA and has nothing to hide.
He claimed "No one tried to steal any election," and when we told him that we spoke with voters who said their votes were faked, Campana said that he "did nothing wrong, I don't know if anyone did and if they did they should be held accountable for it."
Campana also said he does "not condone voter fraud" and claimed the scandal is "politically motivated," blaming former Republican County legislator and Troy official Bob Mirch, who first discovered the allegations and hired investigators to secure the voters' affidavits.
Mirch responded by telling Fox News that "these Democrats went out and... stole the voters' votes, and they thought they would get away with it, and they did not."
The scandal has rocked the quiet, historic city that sits along the Hudson River, just north of Albany.
"I have to believe that in the end, the voters of the City of Troy will be protected and that those who committed this crime will be punished," says Former Troy city Democratic Chairman Frank LaPosta. He told Fox News that his fellow Democrats ostracized him for speaking out against the allegations.
"It was astonishing that something like this can happen," he says, adding "that's the worst thing you can do, is sign someone's name and vote for them. I mean, wars are fought over the ability to vote and have your vote count."
Troy Mayor Harry Tutunjian, a Republican, told Fox News that "people need their right to vote to be taken seriously and it's something to be cherished. We have people fighting for our right to vote, among other things, and to have some people get together, sit around a table and figure out a way to steal peoples' right to vote, is sickening."
Court papers show that the State Police have recovered various samples of DNA from the absentee ballot applications and their envelopes, and the scientific analysis of the Democrats' DNA is expected to continue before any further legal action.
If you suspect voter problems where you live, e-mail us at: Voterfraud@Foxnews.com. An update will be aired from 10 to 12 noon, E.S.T., on America's News Headquarters, Sunday, October 24th, on the Fox News Channel.
Eric Shawn is a New York-based anchor and senior correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC). He anchors "America's News Headquarters" on Sundays from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. ET. and “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo.” He anchors frequently during the week on the Fox News Channel and reports on politics, terrorism, and foreign affairs. Shawn has provided live coverage from both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions since 1992. In 2004 he led the Fox News investigative team that uncovered new evidence in the murder of Jimmy Hoffa, based on the claims of hit-man Frank Sheeran. Click here for more information on Eric Shawn.