The FBI has been alerted and Indiana State Police are investigating reported voter fraud. RTV 6 ABC News reports suspected voter fraud has been found in Hendricks and Marion counties. A group known as the Indiana Voter Registration Project has allegedly turned in “forged voter registration applications” 6 ABC says.
Detectives from the Indiana State Police have been investigating the incident, saying that voter registrations have been submitted that contain information that is different than the actual voter that should be registered. Key information missing from the registrations includes social security information and addresses listed on the registrations that are not the actual addresses of the voter in question.
The Indy Star has also been investigating reported voter fraud and mysterious occurrences regarding the group known only as the Indiana Voter Registration Project. They say that of 28,000 registrations submitted to officials, only 10 of them have been found to be inaccurate.
6 ABC News reports that the Indiana State Police allege that the mysterious group was changing the information on voter registration cards. In some instances, it is alleged that the addresses were changed on the cards without the voter’s knowledge or consent. Secretary of State to Indiana, Connie Lawson says the following.
“We are working with the state police to ensure this matter is addressed quickly. I encourage all Hoosiers to be vigilant at this time and to monitor their voter registrations until the close of the voter registration deadline.”
Secretary of State Connie Lawson has said that the Indiana Voter Registration Project will likely continue to run through the registration deadline, reports ABC News. But an initial probe into the group by the Indy Star after the allegations surfaced found some mysterious things associated with the group known as the Indiana Voter Registration Project.
This Secretary of State wants to ensure that everything happens appropriately in this reported voter fraud after her predecessor was convicted of multiple felony counts of voter fraud in 2012. Indiana is definitely not new to voter fraud allegations.
In February 2012, former Secretary of State Charles White was convicted of multiple counts of felony voter fraud reports WTHR 13. Charles White was sentenced to one year home arrest and lost his law license for two years.
Fox News reports that in 2013, multiple top Indiana officials were convicted on voter fraud in another elaborate scheme. St. Joseph County Democratic Chairman Butch Morgan, Jr. was sentenced to one year in prison and probation time.
Multiple other officials were sentenced to two years of probation. That elaborate scheme began as early as the 2008 election. Fox reports that prosecutor Stanley Levco said at the time, “When you do something like this, you’re going to get caught and you’re going to be held accountable.”
Indiana takes voter fraud very seriously.
A team of six detectives with the Indiana State Police have been investigating the matter of this year regarding the Indiana Voter Registration Project. The Indy Star reports that the FBI has also been briefed on the matter. Indiana State Police (ISP) spokesman, Dave Bursten, told the Indy Star the following.
“This is not an investigation that’s going to end in three days. This is going to take time to peel back multiple layers of the onion.”
The Indy Star has taken a closer look at the group that is alleged to have been the root of this reported voter fraud. They say the group does not have a website and is not registered with the Secretary of State’s office. The Indy Star also visited the brick and mortar building of the group on Meridian Street that is considered to be their office space and were met with peculiar experiences.
They described the office as “mostly empty,” and say that a man from New Jersey known as Karim Aziz was on site at the time. He declined to answer reporter questions about the group, or how it operated, saying only that he was not aware of any fraud concerns.
He did tell the Indy Star that the organization was nonpartisan and gave the reporter a phone number to call for more information. When the number was called, no voicemail picked up, nor did any human.
Later that day, a spokesperson for the group, known Democratic strategist Christy Setzer released a statement reports the Indy Star.
“We sincerely hope that no one in a partisan elected position is using their office in an effort to make it harder for the people of Indiana to vote. The Indiana Voter Registration Project is a nonpartisan effort to ensure that all Indianans who are eligible to vote can do so. As part of its quality assurance program, the Indiana Voter Registration Project has reviewed tens of thousands of applications and identified a small handful that may have had incomplete or inaccurate information and, in those instances, we immediately informed the Registrar and asked them to double check those forms for accuracy.”
Shortly after local news began investigating the suspected voter fraud, the Indy Star reports that the employees of the Indiana Voter Registration Project were told not to come in for the day. One worker began talking to the Indy Star about it, until he was “cut off” by another worker with the admonition that they had been told not to talk to the press.
The Indy Star says they were told that a typical work day for the Indiana Voter Registration Project includes employees being “loaded into vans” and taken to various locations in the city. They would then approach random citizens and ask them if they wanted to fill out their voter registrations. The only training that the employees had was a 45-minute orientation in the Meridian Street office.
After filling out the forms with one of the workers, voters would be told their registration cards would be arriving within the next two weeks.
The suspected voter fraud was discovered when registrations came in that were missing information such as the correct birth dates and Social Security numbers. Democratic member of the Marion County Board of Voter Registration, LaDonna Freeman, says a process like this is unnecessary because voters can just register themselves online reports the Indy Star.
Director of operations of the Republican party in Marion County, Connor Lynn, told the Indy Star that he was also approached by the Indiana Voter Registration Project last week. He asked the canvasser for a business card about the group but was only given a piece of paper with the office address on it and was told “This is where I work.”
The Indiana State Police do not expect their investigation to conclude quickly. In a press release issued by the ISP on the matter they say, once the investigation is complete, the information will be sent to the “appropriate prosecuting authorities for review and action as deemed appropriate.”
The voter registration deadline is October 11. Indiana voters can check their voter registration through the Indiana Voters app, or through the website Indianavoters.com. Any Indiana voter that has discovered changes to their information, is directed to call the Secretary of State at (866) IN-1Vote, or 1-866-461-8683.
[Featured Image by Seth Perlman/AP Images]