After allegations that they participated in a voter fraud scheme, nine people are being accused of enticing homeless people with goods in order to get them to falsify signatures.
When suspicions regarding fraudulent signature collection on petitions containing ballot measures and voter registration cards during the 2016 and 2018 elections from people on Skid Row in Los Angeles came to light, an investigation was started earlier this year.
The Los Angeles Police Department used video surveillance and undercover agents and learned that people collecting signatures for ballots and voter registration were using money, food, and cigarettes to convince inhabitants of skid row to sign names that they were instructed to write on the official forms. The names were allegedly downloaded and collected off of the internet by the suspects.
Some of the petition and registration circulators were allegedly posting themselves in areas during times of high traffic such as mealtimes outside of the mission.
Nine suspects that are believed to have taken part in the scheme are facing charges including circulating a petition with false names, use of false names on a petition, voter fraud charges of registering a fictitious person and registering a nonexistent person.
If they are convicted for the allegations they could each receive sentences of prison terms up to six years.
The county elections chief said that he hopes that the situation will not cause people to “lose faith in the process,” and that his staff verifies each signature by hand.
It was also reported that these types of things do not regularly take place.
If you or someone you love is suspected of fraud, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.