StateCaliforniaYear2012NameAngel Perales and David Silva Case TypeCriminal ConvictionFraud TypeFraudulent Use Of Absentee BallotsDetails
Angel Perales and David Silva
Officials in the small town of Cudahy took part in a widespread corruption scheme that included accepting cash bribes, abusing drugs at City Hall, and throwing out absentee ballots that favored election challengers. After a lengthy FBI Investigation of the 2007 and 2009 elections, the former head of code enforcement, Angel Perales, admitted to tampering with mail-in ballots in city elections by opening them and then resealing and submitting votes for incumbent candidates while discarding votes for challengers. He and Mayor David Silva pleaded guilty to bribery and extortion charges, although Perales' plea agreement included his admission of election fraud. Silva was sentenced to one year in federal prison. Perales was sentenced to five years' probation.
Key & Definitions
Types of Cases
Any case that results in a defendant entering a plea of guilty or no contest, or being found guilty in court of election-related offenses.
A finding by a court of law that fraud occurred in an election, including judicial orders overturning election results or ordering a new election due to fraud.
Any civil case resulting in fines or other penalties imposed for a violation of election laws.
A finding by a government body that fraud occurred in an election, including orders overturning election results or ordering a new election due to fraud.
Any criminal case in which a judge directs a defendant into a pre-trial diversion program, or stays or defers adjudication with the understanding that the conviction will be cleared upon completion of the program.
Types of Voter Fraud
Fraudulent Use Of Absentee Ballots
Requesting absentee ballots and voting without the knowledge of the actual voter; or obtaining the absentee ballot from a voter and either filling it in directly and forging the voter’s signature or illegally telling the voter who to vote for.
Illegal registration and voting by individuals who are not U.S. citizens, are convicted felons, or are otherwise not eligible to vote.
Impersonation Fraud At The Polls
Voting in the name of other legitimate voters and voters who have died, moved away, or lost their right to vote because they are felons, but remain registered.
Paying voters to cast either an in-person or absentee ballot for a particular candidate.
Ballot Petition Fraud
Forging the signatures of registered voters on the ballot petitions that must be filed with election officials in some states for a candidate or issue to be listed on the official ballot
Registering in multiple locations and voting in the same election in more than one jurisdiction or state.
Voting under fraudulent voter registrations that either use a phony name and a real or fake address or claim residence in a particular jurisdiction where the registered voter does not actually live and is not entitled to vote.
Altering The Vote Count
Changing the actual vote count either in a precinct or at the central location where votes are counted.
Illegal "Assistance" At The Polls
Forcing or intimidating voters—particularly the elderly, disabled, illiterate, and those for whom English is a second language—to vote for particular candidates while supposedly providing them with “assistance.”