90 Miles From Tyranny : Four men admit to paying homeless people in LA's Skid Row cash and cigarettes in exchange for forged signatures on ballots and voter registration forms

Friday, July 31, 2020

Four men admit to paying homeless people in LA's Skid Row cash and cigarettes in exchange for forged signatures on ballots and voter registration forms




  • Richard Howard, Louis Thomas Wise, Christopher Joseph Williams and Nickey Demelvin were arrested for the voter fraud scheme in November 2018
  • The men were accused of soliciting hundreds of false and forged signatures in the impoverished Skid Row neighborhood of Los Angeles
  • They allegedly paid homeless people $1 and cigarettes to sign the documents
  • Howard, 64, and Wise, 37, pleaded no contest to two felony charges last week
  • Williams, 41, and Huntley, 45, also pleaded no contest to one felony charge each
Four men have admitted to paying homeless people cash and cigarettes in exchange for forged signatures on ballot petitions and voter registration forms in Los Angeles' Skid Row neighborhood.

Richard Howard, Louis Thomas Wise, Christopher Joseph Williams and Nickey Demelvin were arrested in November 2018 for their participation in the voter fraud scheme during the election that year and in 2016.

The LA County District Attorney's Office on Wednesday announced that Howard, 64, and Wise, 37, pleaded no contest to one felony count each of registration of a fictitious person and subscribing a fictitious name or the name of another to an initiative petition.

Williams, 41, and Huntley, 45, likewise pleaded no contest to one felony count of circulating an initiative or petition containing false, forged or fictitious names.

Howard received a suspended sentence of three years in state prison and three years of formal probation.

Wise received a suspended sentence of 16 months in state prison and three years of formal probation.

Williams and Huntley were each sentenced to three years of formal probation.

The men were accused alongside five other people of soliciting hundreds of false and forged signatures in Skid Row, an impoverished area with more than 5,000 homeless people living in tents and under tarps.

The group allegedly set up tables near shelters and soup kitchens to lure people in and offer them $1 and cigarettes to sign the ballot petitions and voter registration forms in what prosecutors called 'an assault on our democracy'.

Their arrests were part of an LAPD crackdown on voter fraud with assistance from...

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