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As the Tim Bishop and Randy Altschuler campaigns spent the last three weeks quibbling over and investigating the source of individual absentee ballots, each uncovered scores of questionable votes.
The Altschuler team found a man who, they said, voted both in person in New York City and absentee from his East Marion rental home. Voting twice is a felony under New York State law.
Altschuler touted the "voter fraud" in e-mails and Fox News gleefully sent its "Voter Fraud Unit" to Yaphank to report on the mystery.
The man – a photographer whom we were unable to reach – registered to vote in Suffolk in August and then voted in the September Democratic primary in New York City and has voted 32 times in New York City since 1984, according to the Altschuler campaign.
The man in question took out an advertisement in a North Fork magazine this summer looking for tenants to sign a one-year lease at his East Marion property, which records indicate is zoned single-family.
The Altschuler campaign did not refer the man to Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota, spokesman Rob Ryan said. Spota’s spokesman did not return phone calls.
Bishop called the matter “a red herring” during a conference call with reporters Wednesday. “His vote, whoever it was for, should not be counted and he should be prosecuted,” Bishop said. “But one person was discovered. I guarantee you that if there was more than one we would have heard about it.”
Bishop spokesman Jon Schneider, in an earlier interview, said the campaign reached the man during the extensive postelection canvassing of absentee voters.
The guy, Schneider said, voted for Altschuler.