Newly graduated Andrew J. Spieles, 21, of Harrisonburg, Va, was sentenced to 100 days in jail Tuesday after pleading guilty to registering dead and fabricated voters.
Spieles falsified information used in 18 voter registration forms while working with Harrisonburg Votes, a political organization affiliated with the Democratic party.
Spieles was paid to register Harrisonburg voters in the lead up to the 2016 national election.
Working in July 2016, during his summer break from James Madison University, Spieles’ job was to register as many voters as possible and report them to the Democratic campaign headquarters in Harrisonburg.
Spieles graduated in April, according to his Facebook page.
Spieles waived his rights in pleading guilty, avoiding a potential year in prison. The judge also let Spieles off from having to pay the $100,000 fine associated with the charges. The young man will also avoid any probation time following his prison sentence.
When Spieles pleaded guilty in June, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia put out a press release crediting the FBI and local police department for uncovering the crime with the help of the Rockingham County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office.
According to the statement, Spieles pleaded guilty to one-count of knowingly transferring false Virginia Voter Registration Forms and agreed to serve from 100-120 days in prison.
Spieles committed the crime in August 2016, when he was directed to combine his registration numbers with those of another staffer with overlapping territory.
“After filling out a registration form for a voter, Spieles entered the information into a computer system used by the Virginia Democratic Party to track information such as name, age, address and political affiliation. Every Thursday an employee/volunteer hand-delivered the paper copies of the registration forms to the Registrar’s Office in Harrisonburg,” reads the statement.
It was there that Spieles’s crime was uncovered after an employee in the Registrar’s Office recognized a registration form that had the name of the deceased father of Rockingham County Judge Richard Claybrook.
Richard Claybrook Senior passed away in 2014, which left his family deeply disturbed when they received a notice in the mail saying the deceased man could vote in Harrisonburg, reported WHSV.
That incident prompted a deeper look and sparked an FBI investigation.
“The Registrar’s Office discovered multiple instances of similarly falsified forms when it reviewed additional registrations. Some were in the names of deceased individuals while others bore incorrect middle names, birth dates, and social security numbers,” read the U.S. Attorney statement.
Spieles admitted that he created the false voter registration forms using the name, age, and address of people from “walk sheets” that the Virginia Democratic Party gave him.
He would then fabricate a birth date based on the ages, and invent a social security number.
Spieles told investigators that no one else participated in the crime.