Recent Fraudulent Signature Case Isn't Virginia's First

Aug 8, 2018

2nd District Republican Representative Scott Taylor
Credit AP Photo / Steve Helber

Roanoke’s prosecutor will be investigating allegations of fraudulent voter petitions in Virginia Beach, a case that puts Republican Congressman Scott Taylor’s reelection campaign in the crossfire. But, fraudulent signatures are nothing new in Virginia politics.

Collecting signatures is often boring and monotonous work. That’s why candidates and organizations often hire people to do it for them. Sometimes it doesn’t work out the way it’s supposed to. Take the fraudulent voter applications in Alexandria during the 2016 election for example. A left-leaning group known as New Virginia Majority hired people by the hour to collect applications for voter registrations. Director Jon Liss says one of those people handed over forged applications.

“I really can’t figure out why this guy would do it. But he got caught, and we’re glad he did. I don’t want anybody to go to jail. But I’m glad he got caught and is no longer doing this kind of work.”

Alexandria Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter prosecuted the case, which never went to trial because the man pleaded guilty.

“On the application, it would have last name first. So, in other words, if the person’s name was John Doe the application would say Doe, John. And then there’s a place where the person was supposed to sign the form and it would be signed Doe John.”

The man was sentenced to five years in prison, although the judge suspended the sentence to time served.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.