An indictment unsealed in Los Angeles charged nine people accused of participating in voting fraud schemes — in which homeless people were allegedly offered cash or cigarettes in exchange for forged signatures on initiative petitions and voter registration forms.
Seven of the accused pleaded not guilty early Friday. The two others have not yet appeared in court on the new case.
Prosecutors have accused the group of 14 felonies for a variety of alleged acts during the 2016 and 2018 election cycles, including charges of circulating an initiative with forged or fictitious names, signing fictitious names, registering fictitious persons, and making payment for signatures, according to the indictment. None of the defendants faces all of the charges.