FORTY FORT, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A Luzerne County man is facing voter fraud charges Wednesday night. Investigators say he signed the name of his deceased mother to an absentee ballot application.
Luzerne County election officials say they notified the District Attorney’s office. Election officials say this is an example of how the system worked, how alleged fraud was spotted, and stopped.
“Most importantly we saw it. We caught it and that individual is being prosecuted,” Luzerne County Manager Dave Pedri said.
Pedri is talking about the arrest of 67-year-old Robert Richard Lynn from Forty Fort on voter fraud and forgery charges. According to Luzerne County detectives, Lynn admitted to signing the name of his mother to an application for an absentee ballot. The problem is she died in May of 2015.
“This individual allegedly put an application for his dead mother for a ballot. Our Luzerne County election workers were inputting that information into the state’s SURE system, and brought it immediately to the attention of their director. The director then turned it over to law enforcement,” Pedri said.
Lynn had to give a reason on the application for an absentee ballot as to why, posing as his mother, she could not vote in person. According to an arrest affidavit, he put on the application ‘visiting great-grandkids Oct. 24-Nov. 10.’
According to that same affidavit, when first approached by detectives, Lynn denied he signed his mother’s name to the absentee ballot application, then allegedly admitted to the crime.
Eyewitness News went to Lynn’s home to try to speak with him about the incident. No one answered the door. Sandy Yavorski, who was visiting family in the neighborhood, reacted to word of Lynn’s arrest.
“It hurts everybody. You know, if you can’t be a straightforward election, then it just hurt everybody. Nobody wins if everyone can’t be honest,” Yavorski said.
Luzerne County officials say they cannot remember the last case of alleged voter fraud in the county. If convicted on these charges, Lynn could face as much as five years behind bars and $25,000 in fines.
He is free on $10,000 unsecured bail. He will have a hearing on November 5th.