The Republican elections board commissioner in upstate Rensselaer County was arrested Tuesday on charges of carrying out a brazen ballot scheme that allowed him to cast votes in voters’ names.
Jason Schofield applied for absentee ballots for voters who did not want to vote, and, in some instances, personally pushed voters to sign absentee ballot envelopes, positioning himself or his associates to commit voter fraud in primary and general elections in 2021, according to court papers.
The 12-count indictment charging Schofield said ballots were counted from at least four voters who were instructed to sign ballot envelopes but were not allowed to complete them.
“Schofield was able to vote — or have other people vote — in the RVs’ names,” said the court papers, using an acronym for registered voters.
The nine-page indictment was filed last Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.
Schofield, 42, of Troy, N.Y., faces up to five years in prison on each of 12 counts of unlawful possession and use of a means of identification, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Albany.
“He maintains his innocence,” Danielle Neroni, his lawyer, said by phone Tuesday afternoon.
The Albany Times Union reported that Schofield was arrested by the FBI on Tuesday morning outside his home, and entered a not guilty plea at court in the afternoon.
Schofield was released pending a trial scheduled before Judge Mae D’Agostino. He declined to comment as he left his arraignment hearing, according to the Times Union.
The Times Union reported that he was subpoenaed earlier this year in connection with a sweeping ballot probe that has also led a Troy city councilwoman to plead guilty to a count of identity theft.
The Rensselaer County Board of Elections did not immediately return a request for comment. The elections board is located in Troy, about seven miles northeast of downtown Albany.
Rensselaer County, a swing county, went for former President Donald Trump in the 2016 election and President Joe Biden in 2020.