More charges expected in GOP scheme to cheat New York elections
Voter at polls during presidential election, using paper ballots. (

More charges could be filed soon in a federal grand jury investigation into the handling of absentee ballot documents by county officials in New York, following the guilty pleas of a pair of Republican elected officials there.

Two sources briefed on the matter told The Times Union that the yearlong investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice is nearing an end and has revealed numerous instances where Renssleaer County employees under the direction of operations director Richard W. Crist, a longtime GOP operative and political consultant, were enlisted to perform political campaign work.

Much of that work was related to securing absentee ballots, although it's not clear whether that was undertaken on county time or whether that's even part of the DOJ investigation, the newspaper reported.

Jason T. Schofield, the county's former Republican elections commissioner, and Republican Troy councilwoman Kimberly Ashe-McPherson have already pleaded guilty to election fraud-related charges.

Schofield admitted in January to 12 counts of unlawfully using the names and dates of birth of voters to fraudulently apply for absentee ballots for elections held in 2021, and Ashe-McPherson admitted last year to one felony count of fraudulently submitting absentee ballots in the 2021 primary and general elections while seeking re-election.

Investigators have interviewed county employee and others who may have had absentee ballots submitted without their knowledge, and last year the grand jury received documents related to elections in 2020 and 2021, along with cell phones belonging to Crist and Gordon.

Another subpoena several months ago sought absentee documents that may have been handled by county employees Leslie A. Wallace and Sara J. McDermott, who has been described as a GOP operative, along with absentee ballot documents handled by Crist and Gordon.