Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Falsely Registering Dead People as Voters

Andrew J. Spieles admitted to filling out eighteen fake voter registration forms.

Published June 29, 2017

Updated June 30, 2017
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A 21-year-old Virginia man will spend between 100 and 120 days in prison after admitting that he submitted falsified voter registration forms, some of which contained the names of dead people.

Spieles admitted to delivering eighteen fake forms to the voter registrar's office in Harrisonburg in August 2016. His intent was discovered, however, when an registrar's office worker recognized that one of the names he submitted was that of a Rockingham County judge's deceased father.

The United States Justice Department said in a statement that Andrew J. Spieles also said that he prepared false voter registration forms by using information taken from state Democratic Party "walk sheets":

The Registrar’s Office discovered multiple instances of similarly falsified forms when it reviewed additional registrations. Some were in the names of deceased individuals while others bore incorrect middle names, birth dates, and social security numbers.

Spieles, who pled guilty to one count of knowingly transferring false voter registration forms, told investigators that he acted alone and unassisted. The Justice Department identified him as a member of a Democrat-affiliated group called "Harrisonburg Votes," but there is no website, Twitter account or Facebook page currently listed going by that name.  

Further, voters in Virginia are not registered by party affiliation, despite multiple stories that reported the dead faux voters were registered as Democrats.

Political conservatives have claimed on multiple occasions that Democrats have taken advantage of what they describe as widespread voter fraud. However, the majority of those claims have either lacked evidence or been revealed to be misrepresentations.  Regardless, this particular situation would fall under the banner of registration fraud, not voter fraud.

Requests for comment from the Justice Department, as well as the state Democratic Party and Harrisonburg Democratic Committee, were not immediately returned.


United States Department of Justice.    "Harrisonburg Man Pleads Guilty to Submitting Fraudulent Voter Registration Forms."   20 June 2017.


Note: A sentence in a previous version inadvertently had "Vermont" in the body of the article instead of "Virginia." We regret the error. --ed.

Updated to reflect the fact that some -- not all -- of the fake voter registration forms contained the names of dead people.

Arturo Garcia is a former writer for Snopes.