Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Ind. Gov't. - More on "2008 Clinton, Obama Indiana primary petitions tainted by forged signatures"
SOUTH BEND - Suspected fake petition pages to place Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the ballot during the 2008 Indiana primary passed through the county voter registration office on days when the Republican head of the office was absent, The Tribune has learned.
The pages in question bear the stamped signature of Republican Linda Silcott, indicating Silcott was not in the office at the time to sign the documents by hand. By comparison, most of the other, non-suspicious pages examined by The Tribune contain Silcott's written signature.
Meanwhile, 13 more St. Joseph County residents whose signatures appear on the petitions, including former South Bend mayor and Indiana governor Joe Kernan, have come forward to say they did not sign the documents, and the Indiana Republican Party has called for a federal investigation into the matter.
"How deep does this problem go?" state GOP Chair Eric Holcomb asked. "Is it isolated to St. Joseph County or was it a broader, coordinated effort across the state? ... Who forged the signatures and why?" * * *
In response to the ongoing joint investigation by The Tribune and Howey Politics, county Prosecutor Michael Dvorak has launched his own investigation into the faked signatures.
That said, identifying the person or persons responsible for the fakery is a difficult task. Dozens, if not hundreds, of volunteers carried petitions on behalf of now Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama in the county in 2008, both independently and as part of each candidate’s official campaign.
In addition, receipts that would have identified the people involved in gathering signatures on behalf of the two candidates no longer exist. Voter Registration is required to keep records for only 24 months.
The Office of the Secretary of State did not respond Tuesday to a request for comment on this story. Earlier requests by phone and e-mail also went unanswered.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 12, 2011 02:49 PM
Posted to Indiana Government