Shortly after the November election, the Trump campaign spread to her Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as her website, with the names of seven dead Americans in the battlefield states of Georgia and Pennsylvania. The dead were used to cast votes in last month's election, the campaign claimed, pointing to the incidents as evidence of widespread electoral fraud that enabled President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. to win.
Local officials have debunked several of the allegations of dead voters, and there is no evidence of widespread electoral fraud. But now, Pennsylvania officials say one of the names held by the Trump campaign was used to cast a vote in the election.
Here's the catch: authorities say the fraudulent vote was cast for Mr Trump.
This week, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer accused Bruce Bartman of Marple Township, Pennsylvania, of illegally voting for his late mother in the general election. In addition to his mother, Mr Bartman has registered his mother-in-law, Elizabeth Weihman, who died in 2019, as a voter, according to prosecutors, but is not accused of voting for her. He also cast a ballot in his own name.
"This is the only known case in which a 'dead person' votes in our county, regardless of conspiracy theories," Stollsteimer said in a statement. "The immediate prosecution of this case shows that law enforcement will continue to comply with our electoral laws when there is actual evidence of fraud and that we will continue to investigate any allegations that come our way."
Samuel Stretton, a lawyer for Mr. Bartman, said, “He admitted everything. He worked together.” Mr. Stretton added that he was negotiating a plea and that Mr. Bartman had no criminal record.
"He's a good man," said Mr. Stretton. "He did something very stupid under the false theory that this was his form of protest."
In an interview with the New York Times in November after the Trump campaign first made its claims, Bartman said he did not remember seeing a postal ballot for his mother. "Oh, no, no, I didn't get anything," he said. “Occasionally I got junk mail for them. But not in a few years. "
He added that he hadn't heard about the Trump campaign claim because he didn't use social media much and rarely logged into Facebook to see pictures of his grandchildren.
When asked if he knew why a vote was being taped for his mother despite her death, he said state governor Tom Wolf “knows nothing or what is going on in the city of Philadelphia or in the surrounding counties middle part of the state. "
"Some of the things that happened in Philadelphia are just cruel," added Bartman.
Mr. Stretton, his attorney, said, "He was wrong, he admits he was wrong, and since he was approached by the detectives he has worked together and told the truth."
Claiming that a vote using Elizabeth Bartman's name was fraudulently cast and symbolized systemic electoral fraud that helped Mr Biden get spread online. On Facebook, articles claiming the conservative websites ZeroHedge and The Epoch Times were shared 1,800 times and had up to 61 million followers, according to data from CrowdTangle, Facebook's own social media analytics tool.