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Trial starts for US officials accused in Obama, Clinton `2008 ballot petition fraud`

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 15:46

Washington: A trial has started for a former Democratic official and a Board of Elections worker who are accused of orchestrating an illegal scheme to fake the petitions that enabled 2008 presidential candidates Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton, to qualify for the race in Indiana.

They are accused of being part of a plot that has raised questions over whether Obama`s campaign submitted enough legitimate signatures in 2008 to have legally qualified for the presidential primary ballot.

Former longtime St. Joseph County Democratic Party Chairman Butch Morgan Jr. faces multiple felony conspiracy counts to commit petition fraud, and former county Board of Elections worker Dustin Blythe is charged with nine felony forgery counts and one felony count of falsely making a petition of nomination.

Morgan is accused of being the mastermind behind the plot, by allegedly ordering Democratic officials and workers to fake the names and signatures that Obama and Clinton needed to qualify for the presidential race, Fox News reports.

According to the report, two former Board of Elections officials have already pleaded guilty to charges related to the scheme and could testify against Morgan and Blythe.

The alleged scheme was hatched in January of 2008 according to affidavits from investigators who cite former Board of Registration worker Lucas Burkett, who told them he was in on the plan at first, but then became uneasy and quit.


First Published: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 15:42
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