More Republican Petition Fraud in VA

Remember during last year’s election when Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry didn’t get on the ballot for the Republican primary in Virginia? It turns out that’s because the petitions their campaign turned in to get on the ballot were full of fake signatures. And one of them has now pleaded guilty to election fraud.

A Virginia Republican and supporter of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) pleaded guilty on Tuesday to perjury and 36 counts of voter fraud.

Adam Ward, 28, claimed he collected more than 11,000 petition signatures for Gingrich during the Republican presidential primaries, in an effort to ensure the candidate’s embattled campaign had a spot on the state’s ballot. Over 4,000 of those petition signatures turned out to be fake, according to NBC News affiliate WVIR-TV…

The failed presidential candidate fell short of the 10,000 signatures needed to appear on the statewide ballot because the local Republican Party officials double-checked the signatures to ensure they were valid.

Nearly half the signatures on Perry’s petitions were unverifiable as well, though no one has been arrested for that. And this is entirely unrelated to the case of Colin Small, who was arrested for throwing away valid voter registration forms from Democrats. Small was one of several people working for one of Nathan Sproul’s many different consulting companies contracted by the RNC and state Republican parties to register voters who were caught throwing away Democratic voter registration forms.

And it’s closely related to what happened to Rep. Thad McCotter here in Michigan when he failed to qualify for the ballot to run for his own seat in Congress because his campaign staff turned in fraudulent petition signatures. McCotter is now suing the staffers who worked for him and they’re also being criminally prosecuted. If the Republicans are really interested in stopping voter registration fraud (which is not the same thing as in-person voter fraud by impersonation, the kind they claim is widespread but is really quite rare), maybe they should start with by cleaning up their own house.

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  • shadowwalkyr

    This guilty plea is almost certainly the result of a plea bargain.

    I would love to see the details.

  • Now, look, that’s not fraud. It’s just that a lot of Republicans sign with an X. You can still tell that they’re from different people, because the crayon colors are different.

  • Alverant

    I have no doubt the staff was acting under orders from someone else, likely McRotter himself.

  • But… but… but… Lookee over there: ACORN!!!!!!!!!11!!!

  • eric

    Baffling. Getting 10,000 signatures for GOP candidates in VA…c’mon guys, that should be the easy part of the campaign job.

    This is worrisome. The fact that we’ve detected three cases of it in the last election cycle means there are probably a lot more, on both sides of the aisle. It also probably means that election officials might have missed such things out of bias. I.e., because they weren’t looking for them, rather than because the evidence wasn’t there. They see something suspicious on the first page of signatures, and write it off as a single innocent error rather than investigating it, because they assume (like the rest of us do, or did) that no politician would need to commit such a fraud, therefore what they see can’t be evidence of it.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Adam Ward…

    Burt West, however, escaped in the Batmobile.

  • Johnny Vector

    To be fair, it was(according to the story) Republican workers who found (and stopped) the fraud. Rather like what happened with ACORN. So, to continue being fair, is congress going to defund and destroy the Republican party?

  • Gvlgeologist, FCD

    Grammar alert:

    It turns out that’s because the petitions their campaign turned in to get on the ballot were full of fake signatures. And one of them has now pleaded guilty to election fraud.

    One of the fake signatures has pleaded guilty? Or one of the petitions has pleaded guilty?

    I think you mean “one of their supporters…” or “one of the signature collectors…”

    Pierce R. Butler:

    “Adam Ward…

    Burt West, however, escaped in the Batmobile.”

    +1 internets for you!