Authorities in Indiana have launched an investigation after a county clerk’s office discovered evidence of election fraud related to the Democrat 2024 presidential primary.
St. Joseph County Clerk Amy Rolfes and her staff alerted law enforcement after uncovering fraudulent signatures and addresses on hundreds of petition papers.
It was revealed this week that the Indiana State Police launched an investigation after the country clerk’s office made the discovery in late January.
Law enforcement and state elections officials confirmed that they are now investigating a potential petition forgery plot.
At the center of the allegations is a volunteer for Democrat presidential candidate Dean Phillips, a United States congressman from Minnesota.
Phillips is running an improbable campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination against incumbent President Joe Biden.
Indiana’s primary is scheduled for May 7.
The volunteer, who has not been named by authorities, allegedly submitted petition papers with seemingly fraudulent signatures and addresses.
The county clerk stated that on January 25, the campaign volunteer attempted to turn in approximately 80 petition documents to help get Phillips on the state’s presidential ballot for the 2024 election.
However, the papers could not be accepted because they lacked key information.
According to Rolfes, election officials advised the volunteer that the forms needed to be completed and returned for submission.
The volunteer came back with 53 completed pages the next day.
“Curiously, there were addresses that simply did not exist,” Rolfes told the Federalist.
“The streets did, but not the house numbers.”
She noted that her staff attempted to compare the signatures on the petitions to the ones in Indiana’s statewide database, but they could not find matches.
“We would look through and compare the signatures, but there was nothing like them in the statewide system,” Rolfes added.
She called the documents’ discrepancies “glaringly apparent,” noting that they even included fake zip codes.
“We kept saying, ‘That’s not valid. That’s not valid,'” she remarked.
“They thought, ‘They’re never going to look.’ That had to be the mindset. It’s like cheating on homework,” Rolfes continued.
“What I know is we were doing our jobs. … I feel that’s the first line of defense in election integrity: Do your job.
“If more people did, maybe we would see more of this stuff coming to light.”
Rolfes told the Federalist she knows the identity of the Phillips campaign volunteer but cannot release those details.
After notifying Indian’s Election Division, Rolfes and her team were instructed to complete the processing of the documents and to contact the police, she told the Federalist.
Law enforcement arrived a few days later to assess the situation.
The county clerk explained that the investigation is still underway, and local officials are “making progress.”
“I know it’s not sitting. They’re taking it very seriously,” she added.
Indiana State Police Sergeant Ted Bohner told the Federalist that he could not comment on a pending investigation but noted it “is probably going to be lengthy.”
Submitting fraudulent campaign petitions, requests, declarations, or certificates is a Level 6 felony in Indiana.
If found guilty, the campaign volunteer could face two and a half years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Interestingly, the St. Joseph County’s former local Democratic Party leader was previously convicted of an election fraud scheme in 2008.
Owen “Butch” Morgan, who served as St. Joseph County’s Democratic Party chair, was convicted in 2013 on felony conspiracy charges for forgery and petition fraud over his attempt to place Democrat presidential candidates including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the 2008 ballot.
Morgan, who died in 2023, served six months behind bars, according to WNDU.
Three other Democrats were also convicted.
“Election fraud is not a conspiracy theory in St. Joseph County. It is real,” Rolfes warned this week.
“This incident demonstrates why signature requirements and photo identification are essential elements of ensuring our elections are honest and fair.”
Phillips’ campaign has yet to comment on the investigation.