L.A. District Attorney Busts Voter Fraud Ring that Preyed on Homeless

Los Angeles homeless (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)
Jae C. Hong / Associated Press

The Los Angeles County District Attorney announced Tuesday that it had busted a large voter fraud ring that had bribed homeless people on L.A.’s “Skid Row” to sign ballot petitions and voter registration forms in 2016 and 2018.

The L.A. D.A. issued a press statement:

Prosecutors have charged nine people with a dozen felony counts for allegedly offering money and cigarettes to homeless people on Skid Row in exchange for false and forged signatures on ballot petitions and voter registration forms, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Deputy District Attorney Marian Thompson of the Public Integrity Division said five of nine defendants are expected to be arraigned this morning in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

The charges include circulating a petition with false names; use of false names on a petition; voter fraud, registering a fictitious person; and voter fraud, registering a nonexistent person. Case BA472537 was filed for arrest warrant on Nov. 1.

The defendants are accused of engaging in the solicitation of hundreds of false and/or forged signatures on state ballot petitions and voter registration forms by allegedly offering homeless people $1 and/or cigarettes for their participation, prosecutors said. The alleged offenses occurred during the 2016 and 2018 election cycles.

The Los Angeles Times added:

State officials said petition signature scams aren’t widespread in California, but Joseph said they do pop up from time to time on skid row. People hired to help qualify initiatives for the ballot are often paid per signature collected, typically $1 to $2, but officials said a recent slew of proposed ballot initiatives had pushed the rate as high as $6 a signature. It is illegal for the collectors, however, to pay people for signatures.

It is not clear that the voter fraud scheme had any effect on the outcome of races in 2016 and 2018.

Some conservatives have alleged that voter fraud must have taken place in California, given that several Republicans who appeared to have been ahead on Election Night later lost their races as ballots continued to be counted.

However, such late reversals are not uncommon in California — even for Democrats — given that the state allows mailed-in ballots to be counted as long as they were postmarked by Election Day and received within three days.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Photo: file

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