The owner and an employee of a company accused of fraudulent voter registration drives in Sacramento County have been convicted of crimes of deception in the past. The owner of Momentum Political Services, Monica Harris, has an extensive criminal history, including a prison sentence for stealing from a family she befriended and buying a van with funds stolen from a youth agency, court records show. Two of her victims called Harris a “professional con artist.” Harris’ employee, Remy Heng, recently pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Sacramento to his role in a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme in Northern California. Jill LaVine, Sacramento County’s registrar of voters, has turned over evidence of what she called registration fraud to the California Secretary of State’s Office. She said that at least one-fourth of the 31,000 registration cards submitted by Harris and her circulators since September have been rejected for inaccuracies.
Momentum Political Services was hired by the Republican Party of Sacramento County to conduct voter registration drives. LaVine said her office found numerous examples of people of having their political party affiliation switched to Republican against their wishes. The controversy over Harris’ operation has renewed debate over “bounty hunting,” the practice of paying for each voter registered to a party. Officials say the payments are responsible for cases of registration fraud that happen every election cycle throughout California. The Republican Party of Sacramento County paid Harris $5 for each voter registered to the party, Harris said. Those are the only payments that circulators receive during registration drives, yet they are supposed to remain neutral about which party a potential voter selects.