Los Angeles DA Announces Criminal Charges in Cash and Cigarettes Voter Fraud Scheme

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced last week that it has filed charges against nine individuals accused of committing voter fraud in 2016.

According to prosecutors, the group approached people living on skid row and asked them to forge signatures on state ballot measure petitions and voter registration documents, sometimes in exchange for money or cigarettes. If convicted, some of the individuals could face up to six years and four months in prison.

District attorney spokeswoman Shiara Davila-Morales said no homeless people were charged in the scheme. L.A. County Registrar Dean Logan said the fraudulent signatures were likely spotted by his staff but that he takes seriously any crime with the potential to undermine faith in the electoral process.

Fears over voter fraud, as well as voter discrimination, have taken center stage in the national discourse again since the November midterms. Earlier this month, President Donald Trump reiterated his belief that widespread voter fraud is corrupting elections in America, claiming illegal voters are actually using disguises to commit election crimes. However, experts dispute the claim that there is a widespread crisis of illegal voting in the United States.