Democrats often argue that voter fraud is not an issue worth worrying about — much less legislating. But those voices have suddenly gone quiet since news broke about a number of arrests in California related to a scheme to collect fraudulent signatures from homeless people for ballot initiatives and voter registration forms.
The Los Angeles Times reported that nine individuals are facing criminal charges after they were busted in the scheme that offered dollar bills and loose cigarettes to the homeless people living on L.A.’s “skid row” in exchange for their fraudulent signatures on ballot initiative petitions and forged voter registration forms.
Prosecutors have announced criminal charges against nine people accused in an election fraud scheme to get homeless people on L.A.’s skid row to sign fake names in exchange for cigarettes and cash. https://t.co/iavX4ow9tm
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) November 21, 2018
Voter fraud scheme on skid row
Making use of undercover officers and surveillance camera footage, law enforcement officials were able to gather enough evidence of wrongdoing by the nine suspects engaged in fraudulent election activities to charge them for their crimes.
One of the suspects was alleged to have set up a table outside a homeless shelter to try and collect signatures from all who came by for a meal or place to stay for the night.
Prosecutors announced the criminal charges — which include crimes like circulating a petition with fake names, registering a fictitious person, and voter fraud — on Tuesday.
They said that the individuals arrested, if convicted, could face up to four-to-six years in prison.
The scheme was actually busted prior to the election as part of a quiet crackdown by the LAPD against suspected election fraud on skid row, which began earlier this year.
Indeed, the charges were filed three weeks ago but were only announced publicly on Tuesday.
“An assault on our democracy”
While it has become commonplace for the volunteers who collect signatures for ballot initiative petitions or voter registration to be compensated for their efforts — up to as much as $6 per signature — it is highly illegal for those signature gatherers to pay the signers for their signatures, even if that payment is a mere dollar bill or loose cigarette.
The senior lead on the skid row investigation, Officer Deon Joseph, told the Times: “They paid individuals to sign the names. That’s an assault on our democracy.”
Dean Logan, who oversees elections in Los Angeles County, attempted to assuage concerns by saying his staff most likely caught the forged signatures as part of their processes, and thus, they most likely had no effect on the elections, but nevertheless he was concerned himself by “any activity that causes voters to lose faith in the process.”
Democrats will loudly and vehemently protest that voter fraud doesn’t exist and isn’t an issue worth worrying about whenever Republicans express concern over such.
Yet, faced with the arrests of nine individuals for a voter fraud scheme, those same Democrats have essentially gone into hiding and remained silent, as the evidence before us all is too great for them to continue to blatantly deny it.