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The broken voter registration system is receiving new attention after a James Madison University student has agreed to plead guilty to submitting 18 fraudulent voter registration forms. While working for a Democratic-affiliated organization called Harrisonburg Votes, student Andrew J. Spieles claims he created false registrations to help a co-worker meet a quota.
Spieles faces a potential fine of up to $100,000 and up to a year in prison.
Spieles told investigators he “fabricated” registration forms by using data from the Democratic Party of Virginia’s voter files, along with names and addresses from neighborhood “walk sheets” and fake birthdays and Social Security numbers.
Unfortunately for Spieles, he chose the wrong names to use for these falsified documents. A Harrisonburg elections employee noticed that one form was filed on behalf of a county judge’s deceased father, while another employee knew the ex-wife of someone on a different registration form that Spieles had forged. After these were flagged, an investigation uncovered 16 more fraudulent forms.
While authorities say that there is no indication that any fraudulent votes were cast as a result, the case raises questions about the voter registration process.