HARRISONBURG, Va. — A man paid to register Virginia voters prior to the 2016 Presidential Election will spend at least 100 days in prison for submitting the names of deceased individuals to the Registrar’s Office.
James Madison University student Andrew J. Spieles, 21, of Harrisonburg, pled guilty Monday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia. As part of the plea agreement, Spieles agreed to a prison sentence of 100 to 120 days.
Spieles worked for Harrisonburg Votes when he committed the crime, according to acting United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle.
Harrisonburg Votes is a political organization affiliated with the Democratic Party.
“In July 2016 Spieles’ job was to register as many voters as possible and reported to Democratic Campaign headquarters in Harrisonburg,” a U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson said. “In August 2016, Spieles was directed to combine his registration numbers with those of another individual because their respective territories overlapped. After filling out a registration form for a voter, Spieles entered the information into a computer system used by the Virginia Democratic Party to track information such as name, age, address and political affiliation. Every Thursday an employee/volunteer hand-delivered the paper copies of the registration forms to the Registrar’s Office in Harrisonburg.”
Later that month, someone at the Registrar’s Office called police after another employee saw a name they recognized on a registration form.
The name was the deceased father of a Rockingham County Judge.
“The Registrar’s Office discovered multiple instances of similarly falsified forms when it reviewed additional registrations. Some were in the names of deceased individuals while others bore incorrect middle names, birth dates, and social security numbers,” the spokesperson continued. “The Registrar’s Office learned that the individuals named in these forms had not in fact submitted the new voter registrations. The assistant registrar’s personal knowledge of the names of some of the individuals named in the falsified documents facilitated the detection of the crime.
“Spieles later admitted that he prepared the false voter registration forms by obtaining the name, age, and address of individuals from “walk sheets” provided to him by the Virginia Democratic Party, fabricating a birth date based on the ages listed in the walk sheet, and fabricating the social security numbers. Spieles admitted that he created all 18 fraudulent forms himself and that no one else participated in the crime.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Harrisonburg Police Department investigated the crime.