LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced that 9 people were charted on Tuesday, November 20 in connection with a voter fraud scheme where homeless individuals from Los Angeles Skid Row region were offered single dollar bills and cigarettes in exchange for fraudulent signatures on ballot initiative petitions and voter registration forms.
Those who gathered signatures, collected hundreds of names. The pay started out at a buck per signature, but climbed as high as several dollars an hour depending on the amount of initiatives to be passed and the subject matter. The scheme to collect signatures from the homeless impacted both the 2016 elections and the 2018 elections.
Individuals arrested included Kirkland Kuazava Washington, Harold Bennett, Thomas Wise, Richard Howard, Rose Makeda Sweeney, Christopher Joseph Williams, Jakara Fati Mardis, Norman Hall, and Nickey Demelvin Huntley. Each of the defendants are facing various charges of voter fraud including circulating petitions with false names and registering a non-existent person. Each defendant could face up to seven years in prison.
According to NBC news, the case is still under investigation by the FBI and Los Angeles Police Department.
“A number of suspects remained outstanding and subject to arrest warrants,” said LAPD Capt. Marc Reina.