Indiana voter fraud investigation now spans 9 counties
A former staffer on Bill Clinton's 1996 presidential campaign is behind a voter registration organization that is now being investigated for fraud by the Indiana state police.
Indiana Voter Registration Project (IVRP), based in Indianapolis, may have submitted thousands of voter registration forms with fake, inaccurate, or missing information, according to state police. The investigation has been ongoing since August and promises to extend beyond the November election.
IVRP is more than a little shady.
The Star reported Sept. 23 that Patriot Majority USA is a so-called “dark money” group behind the Indiana Voter Registration Project.
Patriot Majority, a nonpartisan charitable organization, is not required to disclose its donors. However, the newspaper reported the group is run by Craig Varoga, described as a liberal Democratic strategist and staffer on former President Bill Clinton’s 1996 national campaign who now runs several organizations affiliated with Patriot Majority and funded primarily by labor groups.
Patriot Majority had more than $30 million in contributions in 2014, its last reportable year, with more than $8 million from one undisclosed donor, the newspaper reported.
Varoga told the newspaper that Indiana was chosen for a registration drive because the state had the lowest voter turnout in the nation in the 2014 election.
The state is also in the midst of hotly contested races for governor and the U.S. Senate.
There are a variety of problems with the registration forms collected by IVRP:
Barry Schust, Allen County’s Republican voter registration board member, said about 1,000 forms from the group were submitted to the local office. About 150 had addresses that weren’t in Allen County, he said, and more than half of the forms “had some form of issue.”
“There’s many that are incomplete or nearly illegible, and a major (concern) is where you write the driver’s license or state ID number or Social Security number,” Schust said.
“There’s an option to check ‘none,’ but it’s a rare occasion to be a citizen and have neither,” he said. But on many of the forms, “none” was checked, he said.
Copies of the group’s forms were turned over to state police Tuesday morning, Schust said.
Also Tuesday morning, state police detectives raided the Indiana Voter Registration Project’s office in Indianapolis and announced that an investigation that began in August had expanded from Hendricks and Marion counties to include Delaware, Hamilton, Hancock, Johnson, Lake and Madison counties, in addition to Allen County.
“The expanded number of counties involved leads investigators to believe that the total number of potentially fraudulent records may be in the hundreds, thus creating a potential to disenfranchise many voters” who thought they were legitimately signing up to vote, a state police news release said.
Victims may not discover the fraud until they go to vote, and that would result in them having to cast a provisional ballot, the news release said.
Investigators said the potentially fraudulent information included a combination of made-up names and addresses, real names with made-up or incorrect addresses, and false dates of births with real names as well as “combinations of all these examples” and, possibly, other irregularities.
Voter registration officials in Muncie have questioned about 530 registrations submitted by the group, according to news reports.
In state after state, the myth that there is no such thing in America as voter fraud is exploded. Not surprisingly, it is Democratic Party-linked organizations that are at the bottom of the fraudulent activity.
The IVRP claims that these irregularities are "mistakes" and not an effort to commit voter fraud. The fact is, they've been caught red-handed. It's unclear whether they were trying to disenfranchise some voters or register fictitious people who would later vote illegally.
Regardless, election day in Indiana is going to be a mess.