James Madison University student Andrew J. Spieles pled guilty Monday in the United States District Court after paying to register Virginia voters prior to the 2016 Presidential Election.
Spieles, who was sentenced to serve up to 120 days in prison, submitted the names of deceased individuals to the Registrar’s Office in Harrisonburg, Virginia, CBS 6 WTVR reports.
“In July 2016 Spieles’ job was to register as many voters as possible and reported to Democratic Campaign headquarters in Harrisonburg,” a U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson told CBS6 of Spieles, who had worked for a voter regristation firm called Harrisonburg Votes; a political organization affiliated with the Democratic Party.
“In August 2016, Spieles was directed to combine his registration numbers with those of another individual because their respective territories overlapped,” U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson said. “After filling out a registration form for a voter, Spieles entered the information into a computer system used by the Virginia Democratic Party to track information such as name, age, address and political affiliation. Every Thursday an employee/volunteer hand-delivered the paper copies of the registration forms to the Registrar’s Office in Harrisonburg.”
A Registrar’s Office employees called police after another staffer recognized a name on a registration form — it belonged to the deceased father of a Rockingham County Judge.
Spieles worked for Harrisonburg Votes when he committed the crime, according to acting United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle.
“The Registrar’s Office discovered multiple instances of similarly falsified forms when it reviewed additional registrations. Some were in the names of deceased individuals while others bore incorrect middle names, birth dates, and social security numbers,” the spokesperson explained. “The Registrar’s Office learned that the individuals named in these forms had not in fact submitted the new voter registrations. The assistant registrar’s personal knowledge of the names of some of the individuals named in the falsified documents facilitated the detection of the crime.”
“Spieles later admitted that he prepared the false voter registration forms by obtaining the name, age, and address of individuals from “walk sheets” provided to him by the Virginia Democratic Party, fabricating a birth date based on the ages listed in the walk sheet, and fabricating the social security numbers,” the spokesman added. Spieles admitted that he created all 18 fraudulent forms himself and that no one else participated in the crime.”
President Donald Trump signed an executive order in January a new, bipartisan commission to investigate claims of voter fraud and strengthen voting security.