Raffle tickets handed out in Harrisburg to encourage people to vote

HARRISBURG, Pa. — People in Harrisburg received flyers before the election.

One says if they go out to vote in the local election, they get a raffle ticket where they could win $500 for an iPhone X.

The other flyer tells people to not vote for current Mayor Eric Papenfuse and write in his opponent Gloria Martin-Roberts.

Papenfuse said, “It’s a clear violation of election law. It’s illegal. It needs to be condemned in the strongest terms.”

The flyers referenced a Facebook group called Harrisburg Mayoral Election 2017, which claims it’s a grassroots organization.

Papenfuse believes people associated with Martin-Roberts’ campaign were paying people to hand out the raffle tickets at the polls.

“I know the people went to Bethesda Mission, and I know the people went to Downtown Daily Bread this morning. I know this because I spoke to many of the people handing out the tickets.”

Employees at Bethesda Mission confirmed to us someone had offered people money to hand out tickets but could not say who it was.

A voter brought the raffle tickets to the attention of a judge, who ordered deputies to stop them from being handed out.

Papenfuse said, “I’m also pleased that a judge this morning recognized the problem, solved the problem very swiftly and all the raffle materials were confiscated and removed.”

Papenfuse said he received the flyers and raffle ticket himself when he went to polling places throughout the city.

He said the people who orchestrated the raffle will face serious consequences.

“All these poll workers were being paid. They were transported. They were picked up, dropped off. Those people could be guilty of a felony, they could go to jail. It’s a very serious offense,” he said.

We reached out to Gloria Martin-Roberts for comment, but she did not return our calls.

We also reached out to the Harrisburg Mayoral Election 2017 Facebook page, and the group saw our message but did not respond.