Twelve employees of the Indiana Voter Registration Project, which focused on registering black voters in the run up to last year’s presidential election, were charged Friday with submitting falsified voter registration applications. The voter registration group also faces criminal charges. Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said officials did not find any evidence that fraudulent ballots were cast in last November’s election or that the group and its employees committed voter fraud. “These allegations pertain to voter registration applications provided to county officials before the November election,” he said in a news release. “Let me be clear that these are not allegations of voter fraud nor is there any evidence to suggest that voter fraud was the alleged motivation.”
Instead, Curry said that the workers who turned in the problematic applications were trying to meet a quota system to keep their jobs. “We do not believe this was a widespread effort to infringe voters, intentionally register ineligible individuals, or to impact the election. Instead we allege that a bad business practice led to illegal actions by the local association and these 12 individuals,” Curry said.
The probable cause affidavit said the employees, who were paid $50 a day for a five-hour shift, were “pressured” by supervisors to get 10 registrations per shift “or risk termination.”
The charges come after an investigation that began last August, when an elections official in Hendricks County, a suburb of Indianapolis, alerted the state police that applications submitted by the Voter Registration Project appeared to have “inconsistencies, missing information and erroneous data when compared to the on-file registrations for voters.” The state police expanded its investigation to Marion County, which includes Indianapolis, and eventually to 56 of Indiana’s 92 counties. The charges announced Friday are for alleged violations in only Marion and Hendricks counties.