They call it Fairgate. Why? Because the alleged violations occurred at the 2018 Fayette County Fair at the Democratic Party Fair Booth. You’ve asked about this so here goes.
A complaint was filed by the Chair of the State Republican Party by letter of Aug 8 alleging a violation of Title 25, section 1711(a)(3) of the PA Election Code. The state GOP alleged the Fayette County Democratic Party violated the section by a “promise or offer to give money or goods to an individual as an inducement for the individual to enroll in a particular party or for a registrant to change political affiliation” while at their booth at the Fayette County Fair. Exhibits to the Complaint and other documents provided include a Facebook post by Fayette County Commissioner Vince Vicites Vicites facebook post exhibit registering voters as Democrats (see sign photo depicting the prize giveaways in exchange for voter registration below) and entry paper used by new voters as well as other fair booth photos below.
A hearing took place before the Election Board/Voter Registration Commission on September 10, 2018. George Rataay the Chairman of the Fayette County Democratic Party pled the 5th to the majority of the questions and candidate/former state representative Tim Mahoney provided some answers.
By unanimous vote, the Election Board/Voter Registration Commission agreed to forward a letter to Fayette County District Attorney Richard Bower. Sept 26 It was believed DA Bower would recuse himself because of his email response to Rants Raves blog and because of his political signs at the fair booth and also because of his sponsorship of the Democratic Hour heard weekly on WMBS (note the others having political signs at the booth also sponsor the radio show – DA Bower name has since been removed from the radio tagline)
After waiting 30 days without confirmation of action I sent a letter to the PA Attorney General Office. Oct 31 I informed the Election Bureau of the District Attorney’s communication to me and his intent to prepare a referral letter to the Attorney General Nov 9 email DA letter to AttGen
So, according to the letter I received on November 8th from the DA, the Attorney General should by now be in receipt of the transcript and 7 exhibits. The remaining documents which were received under 2 subpoenas are in the office of the county Election Bureau and will be provided to the Attorney General if and when requested.
By letter dated November 19, 2018 the Office of Attorney General confirmed receipt and assumed jurisdiction pursuant to 71 PS section 732-205 (a)(3) and has assigned the case.
The Election Board/Voter Registration Commission made its unanimous decision to refer the matter for further investigation because (1) the sign stated prizes would be given upon registration which is a violation (2) testimony indicated that once they became aware of the violation they “taped over” the verbage on the bottom of the sign (3) a number of new voters registered to vote and then completed the prize entry form and (4) the Facebook post and photos were clear.