Springfield mayoral candidate Justin Hurst addresses voter fraud claims
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Candidate for Springfield mayor Justin hurst is being accused of voter fraud just five days away from election night. In affidavits obtained by Western Mass News, the allegations from Springfield election department officials detail what they witnessed this past weekend during early voting at city hall. They described voters being brought to the polls and expecting cash after casting their votes for hurst.
Hurst outright denied the claims that his campaign committed voter fraud and told Springfield citizens ahead of Tuesday’s election that he’s running a clean race.
“Any accusations that my team paid residents in exchange for their vote is unequivocally false,” Hurst said.
On Thursday, Hurst shot down claims that his campaign paid cash for votes during early in-person voting just days away from election night next Tuesday. In affidavits obtained by Western Mass News from the city solicitor, Springfield election officials told a different story. Springfield Elections Commissioner Gladys Oyola-Lopez said, in part:
In city surveillance video obtained by Western Mass News, you can see what appears to be a black SUV bringing people to and from the polls. In her affidavit, Oyola-Lopez referred to this and said, in part:
In his press conference Thursday, Hurst said he has seen the surveillance footage and admits that the person in the footage is a volunteer in his campaign.
“That gentleman has volunteered on many campaigns. That particular gentleman has spent more time in prison than he spent out, but he is a good man and he’s the individuals I’m fighting for in the city of Springfield. We’re running an election that is inclusive,” Hurst explained.
However, he reiterated, “We don’t give money in exchange for votes. I don’t know how much clearer I can be.”
Hurst’s opponent and current Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno released a statement on Thursday to address these voter fraud claims and said:
We reached out to the United States Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts concerning this investigation. They told us that they can neither confirm or deny that there is an ongoing investigation at this time.
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