A Virginia Young Democrat working for a Democrat-aligned voter registration group was caught filing applications for dead people, including a World War II veteran that died in 2014.
Andrew Spieles, a James Madison University student working for HarrisonburgVotes admitted to submitting 19 applications of dead individuals.
A clerk was double-checking the entries of registered voters in the Shenandoah Valley city of Harrisonburg and came across the name Richard Allen Claybrook Sr., a name that she recognized. The clerk recalled that his son is a well-known local judge and remembered that his father had died a few years prior. Claybrook Sr. died in 2014 at the age of 87.
“He was a retired Fairfax County elementary school principal and had fought in World War II,” his son, retired Harrisonburg General District Court Judge Richard Allen Claybrook Jr told the Washington Post. “So our family is very disgusted that they would pick his name, because he was such a law-abiding citizen devoted to public service.”
After Spieles confessed to submitting the applications, Joe Fitzgerald, the local democrat who runs HarrisonburgVotes, fired him. William Howell, the Republican speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, told the Washington Post that voter fraud is a major problem for upcoming elections.
“Oftentimes we hear our Democratic colleagues suggest that voter fraud doesn’t exist in Virginia, or it’s a myth,” said Howell. “This is proof that voter fraud not only exists but is ongoing and is a threat to the integrity of our elections.”
House Minority Leader David J. Toscano said that there was no voter fraud because none of them had cast a vote.
“First of all, there was no voter fraud — they caught him,” Toscano said. “Nobody cast a vote. . . . There’s still no evidence of that going on in the state. But there is evidence every time you turn around that the Republicans are trying to make it more difficult for citizens to vote in elections.”