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Pennington County Investigates Voter Fraud

October 16, 2002, 11:58 PM by Cindy Davis


Click here to watch this story(Windows Media) The Pennington County sheriff's office is investigating a different case of voter fraud in Rapid City. Local authorities say money may be the motivation behind fraudulant voter registration cards in Pennington County. The Pennington County's auditors office is bustling today with people registering to vote and filling out absentee ballot applications. They're doing it the right way. But according to the county sheriff, two men broke the law by forging voter-registration cards. Don Holloway, Pennington County Sheriff, says, "The questionable cards that we're looking at, and there's a couple hundred of them, were submitted by 2 individuals." Two brothers, who aren't being named, collected more than 230 cards, and were paid 3 dollars for each person they registered. So far, 4 cards have been found with inaccuracies. Some have the wrong names, others have the wrong birthdates. According to auditor, Julie Pearson, Pennington County Auditor, the brothers were doing it for the money. "These people, I don't believe, did it to stuff the ballot boxes, they simply did it to turn in more cards to get more money." The 238 suspicious cards have been pulled from county voter rolls until the registrations can be verified. Pearson says, "And we just want to make sure the information we have on election day before those people vote is either their old information or they verify that the person themselves wants it updated from the information we got." Pearson says high profile elections always brings more people to the polls, but there's a problem when some are paid to do it. "They're doing a massive voter registration drive, and you're always going to have problems in my opinion if you can pay people to register to vote." Sheriff Holloway says they're working hard to clear this up before the November election. "The main goal: clean election." Holloway says forgery charges will likely be filed later this week. Investigators say it's the "Native American Voter Education and Registration Project" that was paying contractors $3 per voter registration.

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