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Judge unseals new search warrants in Patriot Majority USA voter fraud investigation

Posted at 11:58 AM, Nov 15, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- Two new search warrants in the Indiana Voter Registration Project investigation were unsealed Monday by order of a Marion County judge, providing another look into the ongoing allegations of voter fraud against the organization.

The search warrants, filed on October 14 and October 26, were ordered unsealed by Marion County Superior Court Judge Kurt M. Eisgruber and obtained by Call 6 Investigates on Tuesday.

In them, Indiana State Police investigators detail what they found in documents and computers seized from the Indiana Voter Registration Project's (IVRP) Marion County office. The IVRP is a voter registration effort organized by the liberal-leaning Patriot Majority USA super PAC.

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IVRP records indicated employees had submitted 34,457 voter registration applications in 56 Indiana counties by the end of September. In the search warrants, state police say they found evidence that some of those applications were submitted even though IVRP employees knew they contained fabricated or forged information.

In one extended section, an ISP investigator details a series of notes he found at IVRP's offices:

"I located several files which had handwritten and typed notes attached to copies of voter registration applications. Many of the notes indicated that various canvassers of the Indiana Voter Registration Project had submitted voter registration applications for underage voters, family members who lived out of state, applications with phone numbers belonging to a different person other than the person listed on the application, notes indicating the real person was contacted and advised they did not register to vote, notes indicating the no one by the name of the person listed on the application lived at the address, notes indicating that the applications had the same handwriting, notes indicating that the canvasser had registered the same person multiple times, notes indicating that the canvasser had submitted applications with the wrong ZIP codes and used the same address for multiple people."

In another instance, police said an IVRP employee dropped off 119 voter registration applications in St. Joseph County with a sticky note attached that read, "Canvasser filled out every registration in this packet. Every date of birth is invalid."

In a third case, police contacted a man who said he'd been approached by an IVRP employee and asked to register to vote. He explained that he was not a U.S. citizen and therefore could not register. Police reported finding a voter registration with his name and number on it, apparently filled out by the IVRP employee.

In the original search warrant obtained exclusively by Call 6 Investigates last week, police said IVRP employees reported filling out false information on voter registrations in order to meet a daily quota.

"Canvassers were required to call their supervisors every hour during a shift and advise them how many applications they had at that point," that search warrant read. "[Canvasser] said the supervisor said the supervisor would counsel canvassers that if they did not get enough applications they may not be working the next day."

CALL 6 | Search warrant: Indiana Voter Registration Project employees falsified information to meet quota

On Oct. 21 ISP received copies of approximately 570 voter registrations submitted in Marion County that "could not be processed or verified for a number of reasons, including that they were for underage persons, persons who did not appear to exist, invalid or non-existent addresses, phone numbers not belonging to the applicant and people who indicated they did not complete the applications."

ISP detectives also reviewed spreadsheets stored on IVRP's computers. The spreadsheets reportedly contained the information of thousands of people who were registered by the IVRP.

"In reviewing the documents, there appeared to be numerous people registered by IVRP who were not of age to vote in the 2016 general election and numerous people who were not citizens of the United States of America," detectives wrote in the warrant.

No charges have been filed in the case, which remains an ongoing investigation.

The Indiana Voter Registration Project and Patriot Majority USA have denied all wrongdoing and say they have been "publicly demonized" by Indiana officials.

The IVRP released a written statement Tuesday about the search warrants' release:

“We are glad that these warrant affidavits have finally been released for public inspection, because they confirm that the Indiana Voter Registration Project was conducted in a professional manner designed to protect both voting rights and the integrity of the state voter file.  As the unsealed documents themselves state, the Project maintained records of unverified and incomplete applications, in order to help the County Clerks do their jobs of registering only eligible voters. Several of the so-called questionable applications listed in the warrant were in fact accurate, as proven by the Clerks who verified the information and eligibility of the voters."

Patriot Majority USA spokesman Bill Buck said the IVRP took several steps above and beyond Indiana's legal requirements, including requiring canvassers to sign voter registration application and not paying canvassers by the form.