Ballot-fraud convictions shed light on Obama’s ’08 campaign

Tim Cavanaugh Contributor
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Two former Indiana Democratic Party officials have been convicted on multiple counts of election fraud.

Two St. Joseph County Democratic operatives have been found guilty of conspiring to forge signatures in order to get both Obama and then-presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton on the ballot in Indiana. Fox News reports:

Former longtime St. Joseph County Democratic Party Chairman Butch Morgan Jr. was found guilty of felony conspiracy counts to commit petition fraud and forgery, and former county Board of Elections worker Dustin Blythe was found guilty of felony forgery counts and falsely making a petition, after being accused of faking petitions that enabled Obama, then an Illinois senator, to get on the presidential primary ballot for his first run for the White House.

Morgan was accused of being the mastermind behind the plot.

According to testimony from two former Board of Election officials who pled guilty, Morgan ordered Democratic officials and workers to fake the names and signatures that Obama and Clinton needed to qualify for the presidential race. Blythe, then a Board of Elections employee and Democratic Party volunteer, was accused of forging multiple pages of the Obama petitions.

Morgan took the stand in his own case, and the jury deliberated for less than three hours.

The South Bend Tribune, which inspired the case against Morgan, Blythe and two other defendants with a 2012 investigation of election fraud in the 2nd Congressional District, says Morgan is looking at a possible 22 years in prison, while Blythe could face 75 years. The two co-defendants, who pleaded guilty to felony counts, are facing 11 and 14 years.

A witness testified that Morgan ordered  party workers to copy names from petitions supporting candidate for governor Jim Schellinger onto petitions to place Obama and Hillary Clinton on the Democratic primary ballot.

The convictions raise questions about the president’s very successful 2008 campaign. Fox News’ Eric Shawn writes that the verdicts show “fraud put President Obama and Hillary Clinton on the presidential primary ballot in Indiana.”

This article has been corrected to reflect that the state where the fraud occurred was Indiana.