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    L.A. ‘Voter-Fraud Scheme’ Offered Homeless People Cigarettes and Cash, Say Prosecutors

    Reuters / Lucy Nicholson

    Homeless people in Los Angeles were reportedly offered cigarettes and cash in return for false and forged signatures on voter-registration forms and ballot petitions, prosecutors have alleged. Nine people face felony charges stemming from the “large-scale voter-fraud scheme,” which allegedly took place during both the 2016 and 2018 elections. Hundreds of fraudulent signatures were allegedly gathered by “offering homeless people $1 and/or cigarettes for their participation” on the city’s Skid Row, according to a release from prosecutors. No homeless people have been charged. Three defendants—named as Kirkland Kauzava Washington, Harold Bennett, and Louis Thomas Wise—reportedly face eight counts and as much as six years and four months in state prison if convicted. State officials said they don’t believe that such scams are widespread in California.