A James Madison University student was sentenced to prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to registering dead voters for the Democratic Party during the 2016 election.
Andrew Spieles, 21, was given a 100-day prison sentence in federal court for falsifying 18 Virginia voter registration forms last August. A judge waived any fees associated with the charges due to an inability to pay the fine, and Spieles will not have to serve any probation following his jail-time.
Voter fraud is punishable by up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine in the Commonwealth of Virginia, but Spieles was able to enter a plea agreement with Assistant United States Attorney Jeb Terrien that limited his sentence to between 100 and 120 days behind bars.
Spieles worked as a Democratic campaign operative during its voter registration drive, and 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. He fabricated a birth date based on the ages listed in the walk sheet, and fabricated the social security numbers, the Justice Department said.
Spieles said he acted alone, and was not told by anyone else in the party to create fake voters.
Law enforcement was contacted last August after an employee at the Harrisonburg, Va., Registrar’s Office identified a registration form submitted in the name of the deceased father of a Rockingham County judge. The Registrar’s Office then discovered more instances of falsified forms as it reviewed additional registrations. Additional registrations were found to be in the names of deceased people, while others contained inaccurate or incorrect information, including wrong middle names, birth dates and social security numbers.
Court documents indicate Spieles’ job was to register as many voters as possible and report to the Democratic campaign.
The investigation involved the Federal Bureau of Investigation along with local law enforcement.