FBI arrests GOP upstate New York election official over alleged absentee ballot fraud scheme

Jason Schofield, elections commissioner at the Rensselaer County Board of Elections, faces a 12-count indictment

The FBI arrested a New York Republican election commissioner on Tuesday. 

Jason Schofield, 42, of Troy, New York, was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel J. Stewart on an indictment charging him with unlawfully using the names and dates of birth of voters to fraudulently apply for absentee ballots for elections held in Rensselaer County in 2021. 

Schofield was ordered released on his own recognizance pending a trial scheduled before U.S. District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino. 

He is accused of unlawfully possessing and using the names and dates of birth of voters in connection with absentee ballot applications that he submitted to a New York State Board of Elections website in 2021. 

The indictment alleges that Schofield applied for absentee ballots in the names of people who had no interest in voting in 2021 and did not request absentee ballots or Schofield’s assistance in voting or obtaining absentee ballots.

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FBI agents approaching a crime scene

FBI agents approaching a crime scene (Getty Images)

In some of these instances, the indictment explained, Schofield also took possession of the absentee ballots issued to these voters, brought them to voters, and had them sign absentee ballot envelopes without actually voting. 

This allegedly allowed Schofield or another person to cast votes in these voters’ names in Rensselaer County’s 2021 primary and general elections. 

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If convicted, Schofield would face up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and a term of post-imprisonment supervised release of up to 3 years on each of the 12 counts.