By Caden Pearson
Three political campaign workers from New Jersey have been indicted on charges related to a scheme regarding mail-in ballots.
The Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone announced Thursday that the charges stem from a scheme where one of the campaign workers for a Perth Amboy City Council candidate offered $20 supermarket gift cards to voters in return for letting her complete their mail-in ballots.
The grand jury returned a seven-count indictment, charging Ana Camilo, Annet Sanchez, and Maria Peralta, all from Perth Amboy, with various offenses related to their involvement in offering gift cards to voters in exchange for completed mail-in ballots in favor of their preferred candidate.
Last October, Camilo, 62, was taken into custody by law enforcement officials for allegedly meeting with and attempting to bribe an undercover detective who was pretending to be a voter from Perth Amboy.
Authorities have said that Camilo was employed by a candidate for the Perth Amboy city council, but they have not revealed the candidate’s identity.
She faces two counts of third-degree bribery, third-degree unlawful possession of a ballot, third-degree attempt to cast an illegal ballot, and third-degree election law violation.
Annet Sanchez, 52, and Maria Peralta, 60, were indicted on a charge of retaliation against a witness. Both women are accused of engaging in harassing conduct towards a witness who provided information about Camilo’s involvement in the voter fraud.
According to New Jersey election law, offering any inducements for voting for a particular candidate is illegal.
Ciccone reminded the public that the charges against Camilo are merely accusations, and she is presumed innocent until proven guilty, like all criminal defendants.
It wasn’t clear Thursday if any of the campaign workers had retained attorneys. Authorities said the three have nothing to do with the county or city election offices or operations.