Felony charges for California petition signature fraud

For those of us who like to keep track of election fraud, there was a news release from the California Secretary of State yesterday regarding the outcome of an investigation of election fraud in Sacramento County regarding petition signatures. Here’s the relevant info from the news release:

In March 2006, Sacramento County Registrar of Voters Jill LaVine alerted Secretary Bowen’s office to suspicious signatures while processing a PG&E petition. After conducting an investigation, the Secretary’s Election Fraud Investigation Unit found that Bowers, a signature gatherer hired by the proponents, appeared to have forged the names of five voters, including two who were deceased. Bowers earned 75 cents per signature, thereby earning $3.75 from the allegedly fraudulent signatures.

The PG&E petition, which later became Measure H, sought to require existing Sacramento Municipal Utility District customer approval for any future SMUD annexations. The suspicious signatures were excluded as county elections workers tallied and validated petition signatures. The measure qualified for the ballot and voters approved it in June 2006.