One Dollar One Vote: 9 Charged For Paying Homeless To Forge Signatures In LA’s Skid Row

On Tuesday, nine people face charges for voter fraud in LA’s Skid Row, in addition to circulating a petition with fake names, and registering a fictitious person. Though, the Police say the offenses were not politically motivated.

As LA Times reports,

Using cash and cigarettes as lures, the defendants approached homeless people on skid row and asked them to forge signatures on state ballot measure petitions and voter registration forms, the district attorney’s office said.

Los Angeles police Capt. Marc Reina said officials used undercover officers and security camera video before arresting Kirkland Kauzava Washington, 38, one of the nine individuals charged by prosecutors. Washington allegedly set up a card table outside the Midnight Mission, where homeless people line up for meals and shelter, Reina said.

Washington, Harold Bennett, 53, and Louis Thomas Wise, 36, face up to six years and four months in prison. The others charged — Richard Howard, 62, Rose Makeda Sweeney, 42, Christopher Joseph Williams, 59, Jakara Fati Mardis, 35, Norman Hall, 61, and Nickey Demelvin Huntley, 44 — face up to four years and eight months in prison.

It remains to be seen whether voter fraud is a widespread issue, but according to Police this isn’t an uncommon occurrence in Skid Row.