- Lucy Nicholson/Reuters
A man who was paid to register new voters in Virginia has pleaded guilty to charges he submitted 18 fraudulent voter registrations last year, a statement from the US Department of Justice said.
Andrew Spieles, 21, who worked for the Democratic Party-affiliated organization Harrisonburg Votes, was sentenced to between 100 and 120 days in prison.
Spieles admitted he fabricated the forms using information, like names, ages and addresses from “walk sheets” given to him from the Virginia Democratic Party, and that he alone created all 18 of the fraudulent forms, the US Attorney’s Office said in a statement. Spiele falsified birthdays based on ages on the sheets, and also wrote down fake Social Security numbers.
According to the statement, an investigation by the FBI and Harrisonburg Police Department found that Spieles was tasked by the organization with registering as many people to vote as possible ahead of the 2016 election. The registration forms Spieles filled out were then hand-delivered to the local Registrar’s Office.
Spieles’ forms went unnoticed until- on August 15 – a local employee at the Registrar’s Office noticed the name of a deceased father of a Rockingham County Judge on one of the forms, causing another employee to contact law enforcement, the DOJ statement reported.
The Registrar’s Office then found multiple other forms similarly fabricated, containing either the names of deceased people, or “incorrect middle names, birth dates, and social security numbers.” In the latter case, the Registrar’s Office found that the people listed had not submitted their information.