Delaware County man sentenced for casting dead mother's ballot

Bruce Bartman

A Delaware County man will not be allowed to vote for the next four years after he pled guilty to unlawful voting and perjury charges brought against him for casting a mail-in ballot for his dead mother in the 2020 election, county officials said Friday. 

Bruce Bartman, a 70-year-old man from Marple Township, will also serve five years probation, according to Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer. Officials said this is the only known case of a dead person voting in the county. 

Bartman was charged with unlawful voting and perjury last December when prosecutors alleged that he used the driver's license number for his mother, who died more than a decade ago, to register her to vote, obtain a mail-in ballot, return that ballot and fraudulently vote in her name.

MORE: Delaware County man accused of casting dead mother's ballot

Authorities also said he used his mother-in-law's social security number and the system returned a deceased record for the woman who had died in 2019. The state sent a confirmation letter to make sure the information was correct, which authorities allege Bartman falsified and returned to register her as a voter. He did not obtain a ballot in her name, prosecutors said.

Stollsteimer said Bartman had registered both women as Republicans and told investigators he had done so to help re-elect Donald Trump. The District Attorney said he only mentioned the party affiliation because of multiple conspiracy theories circulating about voter fraud, adding that this is the only case during this election that his office has encountered.

"While today marks the end of this troubling criminal case, it is only the beginning of the journey for all Pennsylvanians as state government updates and reforms our voter systems," Stollsteimer said. "To those reviewing voter systems, I say, ‘Remove failed systems, not ballot boxes.’"

The Associated Press contributed to this report



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