While U.S. judges continue to remain strong on the validation of president-elect Joe Biden’s victory, election officials in Los Angeles County have uncovered evidence of voter fraud within a local city, prosecutors said on Tuesday.
Carlos Antonio De Bourbon Montenegro, 53, and Marcos Raul Arevalo, 34, have both been arrested and charge with several counts of voter fraud after they allegedly tried to submit 8,000 “fictitious, nonexistent or deceased” voters to receive mail-in ballots between July 1 and Oct. 15.
“What this does is it illustrates that election officials here as well as across the country take these issues very seriously. This was 8,000 registrations in a jurisdiction that has 5.8 million voters,” Dean Logan, the county’s top election official, told the Los Angeles Times.
The attempt to fix an election was in favor of Montenegro, who was running to become mayor of Hawthorne, California.
The pair reportedly use multiple recently registered post office boxes and Montenegro’s home address to mail in the fake votes. This allowed election officials to flag the ballots as suspicious in October.
“We tracked where those voter registration forms were coming from, and we notified the [California] Secretary of State and the district attorney’s office,” Logan continued.
Both Montenegro and Arval are now facing charges of conspiracy to commit voter fraud, voter fraud, procuring and offering a false or forged instrument, and interference with a prompt transfer completed affidavit.
If convicted, Montenegro could face up to 15 years in prison, and Arevalo could face up to 7 years in prison.
“I think that this is an example of how the system is supposed to work, that if you see something and something is suspect, you report it, and we investigate it,” Logan added. “In this case, it was stopped before any harm to the election could happen.”