Allegations of election fraud are flying in Chicago's 13th Ward, where a 19-year-old student running for alderman accuses the city's Democratic Party machine of using dirty tricks in a bid to remove his name from the ballot.
David Krupa, a DePaul University freshman who’s making his first foray into politics, claims that 13th Ward Alderman Marty Quinn and his supporters are trying to stop his candidacy.
Quinn is backed by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, one of the top Democrats in the state.
"We certainly need to show the machine that they can't just bully people around anymore ... I certainly believe there's election fraud committed, yes."
Krupa says Quinn’s supporters committed election fraud after he gathered 1,703 petition signatures, surpassing the 473 signatures required to run for alderman.
But even before he submitted the signatures, the current alderman’s supporters submitted affidavits from 2,796 people who said they wanted to revoke their signatures for Krupa – a difference of more than 1,000 signatures, Chicago’s WLS-TV reported.
“We certainly need to show the machine that they can't just bully people around anymore,” Krupa told the outlet. “I certainly believe there's election fraud committed, yes.”
Michael Dorf, Krupa’s attorney, said the allegations of falsified affidavits and oaths cross a line.
“There are a lot of ways to be a tough campaigner, there are a lot of ways to fight hard within the rules, but when you start filing false oaths, false affidavits, that crossed the line,” he said.
Krupa and his attorney also said that only 187 of the people who signed a revocation affidavit also signed his petition to run for alderman.
This means more than 2,600 signatures were allegedly fraudulent.
“They had to have been told that it was for something it wasn't for, or coerced into doing it somehow, and we actually had a lot of people who messaged me and said that was the case they only signed because it was brought to them three times a day for a week,” Krupa told the outlet.
He added that in the event of him being kicked off the ballot, he will take legal action. “If we get knocked off the ballot because of the election fraud that's happened here, we are 100 percent filing a federal lawsuit against Michael Madigan, Marty Quinn and every one of their precinct captains.”
But despite the alleged election fraud and receiving death threats, the political newcomer said he won’t be deterred.
“It’s not gonna stop me one bit from trying to expose the machine for what they are, and to expose them for what they’re capable of,” Krupa told WGN-TV.