A Democratic-aligned group at the center of an Indiana investigation into possible voter fraud said Thursday it focused on registering black residents of Indiana because the state had the nation’s lowest overall voter turnout in 2014. Patriot Majority USA has ties to the Democratic Party, including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and former president Bill Clinton, and is one of a host of organizations doing political work on both the right and left that are not required to disclose their donors. According to its 2014 tax return, the most recent available, the group had $30.5 million in revenue that year and spent $13.6 million on political activities, but donors were not disclosed. Between 2009 and 2012, the last years the group disclosed donors, it received $2.2 million from labor unions, according to Federal Election Commission figures, including major contributions from teachers and public employee unions.
The group’s president, Craig Varoga, said in an interview with The Associated Press that Patriot Majority has run voter registration drives in 11 states over the past several years. He said it focused solely on Indiana this year and registered black voters beginning in May.
“There are large numbers of African-Americans who are unregistered and everything should be done to help them,” he said.
By the time Indiana State Police raided the group’s Indianapolis office on Oct. 4, a week before the state registration deadline, Varoga said the group had collected about 45,000 voter registration applications. Most of those were completed during door-to-door visits in nine counties with large African-American populations, he said.