Hoboken resident pleads guilty in vote by mail scheme

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Hoboken resident Lizaida Camis, 55, has pleaded guilty to participation in a 2013 voter bribery scheme, according to an announcement by U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.

Carpenito said Camis pleaded guilty on Nov. 8 before U.S. District Court Judge William J. Martini in Newark federal court to an indictment charging her with conspiracy to use the mail to promote a voter bribery scheme during the 2013 municipal election in Hoboken.

Former city council candidate Frank Raia and campaign worker Dio Braxton have been indicted on similar charges.

According to the same announcement, Camis, Braxton, and others, “at former Hoboken City Council candidate Frank Raia’s direction, [allegedly] agreed to pay certain Hoboken voters $50 each if those voters applied for and cast mail-in ballots for the November 2013 Hoboken municipal election.”

Camis and others allegedly provided these voters with vote-by-mail applications and then delivered the completed applications to the Hudson County Clerk’s office.

The Nov. 8 announcement also states that after the mail-in ballots were delivered to the voters, “Camis and others went to the voters’ residences and, in some cases, allegedly instructed the voters to vote for a rent control referendum that Raia supported.”

They then allegedly promised the voters they would be paid $50 for casting their mail-in ballots and told them that they could pick up their checks after the election at an office Raia owned.

“Bank records show that voters who interacted with Camis and Braxton received $50 checks from an entity associated with Raia,” the announcement states.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 21, 2019.

The indictments against Raia and Braxton are not judgments, but decisions by a grand jury that there is enough evidence for a matter to proceed to a trial.