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Two Lawrence women, including city councilor-elect, indicted on voter fraud charges

Fidelina Santiago won a seat on the Lawrence City Council last month. Now she and another woman are accused of voter fraud.

An incoming Lawrence city councilor and another local woman were indicted Wednesday on charges of voter fraud in connection with last month’s municipal election, Essex District Attorney Paul F. Tucker announced.

Fidelina Santiago — who won a seat on the Lawrence City Council in November — and Lawrence resident Jennifer Lopez were each indicted on four counts of illegal voting or attempting to vote; four counts of conspiracy to vote or attempting to vote illegally; four counts of unlawful interference with a voter; and four counts of voting obstruction, the DA’s office said in a news release. 

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Both women will be arraigned at a later date, according to the release. Boston.com has reached out to Santiago for comment; it was not immediately clear whether she or Lopez had an attorney who could speak to the charges.


Tucker said the DA’s office began investigating after Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin’s office alerted prosecutors to allegations of fraudulent voting in the city’s November election. 

Last month, NBC10 Boston published video footage that appeared to show a woman removing mail-in ballots from a mailbox outside a Lawrence home. The news outlet spoke to another local voter who said someone had forged her signature on a mail-in ballot. 

“The minute we heard about it we took action,” Galvin told NBC10 Boston at the time. “We’ve had a history of sending people to jail when they’ve committed crimes. That’s what we’ll do here.”

Lawrence’s election results show Santiago won the council’s District A seat with 537 votes to opponent Vladimir Acevedo’s 385. 

“Interfering with an election not only undermines the legitimacy of government but erodes the public’s confidence in the process,” Tucker said in a statement. “My office will vigorously prosecute individuals that threaten the integrity of elections.”