A Massachusetts state representative has agreed to plead guilty to civil rights violations and resign from office for his role in submitting false absentee ballot applications and casting invalid ballots in 2009 and 2010, the Justice Department said in a news release Thursday.
Rep. Stephen Smith, 57, of Everett, Mass. will plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of deprivation of rights. Smith, who represents the 28th Middlesex District in Massachusetts, allegedly cast invalid absentee ballots for voters who were ineligible or unaware of ballots being cast in their names. The news release said "one or more government officials" helped Smith intercept the ballots before they were delivered to the voters, but it did not name the officials.
Under a plea agreement, Smith will resign from office on Jan. 1, 2013 and will not be allowed to seek office for five years. Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the FBI's Boston Division, said the bureau "methodically uncovered" the voter fraud scheme during a two-year period.