Prosecutors in Indiana have charged 12 employees of a Democrat-linked voter recruitment organization with submitting fraudulent voter registration applications prior to last year’s election.
According to The Associated Press, 11 canvassers who temporarily worked for the Indiana Voter Registration Project and their supervisor have been charged for creating and submitting an “unknown” number of falsified voter registration forms.
All 12 defendants face one count of "procuring or submitting voter registration applications known to be false, fictitious or fraudulent,” while the 11 workers face an additional count of perjury and the supervisor faces an additional count of counterfeiting.
The Indiana Voter Registration Project's effort to register more voters is tied to Patriot Majority USA, an organization with strong ties to the Democratic Party, including former President Bill Clinton and former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). The group has denied any wrongdoing.
The canvassers were reportedly focused on targeting and mobilizing black voters and were given daily quotas. They were paid $10 per hour for five hours each day and were required to register at least 10 new voters each day “by any means necessary,” according to the AP.
Marion County prosecutor Terry Curry called the registration tactics "a very bad, ill-advised business practice."
The quota, Curry said, led the workers to submit voter registration forms for people who didn’t exist, citizens who were already registered and even forms for minors.
"By giving someone a financial motive to (meet a quota) is what caused these canvassers to cut corners and do things that not only undermined the goal of having legitimate registered voters but led to a situation where we allege it bled over into criminal conduct,” Curry said.
More from the AP:
A search warrant unsealed on Nov. 14 says some workers admitted to falsifying registrations, saying they faced the possibility of losing their temporary job if they didn’t register at least 10 new voters a day.
The search warrant indicates that Patriot Majority submitted several hundred voter registration applications that included false, incomplete or fraudulent information. The warrant’s contents allowed State Police to raid the Indianapolis offices of Patriot Majority USA in October.
Despite not knowing how many fraudulent voter registration forms the group submitted, Curry described the number to be “relatively small."
If the 12 defendants are found guilty on all charges, they each face a maximum of 2.5 years in prison. Patriot Majority USA also faces a $10,000 fine.