On Tuesday, two Los Angeles County men were arrested and charged in a 41-count criminal complaint over submitting more than 8,000 fraudulent ballots on behalf of homeless people in the city of Hawthorne.
According to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, Carlos Antonio De Bourbon Montenegro and Marcos Raul Arevalo were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit voter fraud, eight counts of voter fraud, four counts of procuring and offering a false or forged instrument and four misdemeanor counts of interference with a prompt transfer of a completed affidavit. Montenegro also faces 10 additional counts of voter fraud, seven counts of procuring and offering a false or forged instrument, two counts of perjury and five misdemeanor counts of interference with a prompt transfer of a completed affidavit.
Between July and October of 2020, Montenegro, with the assistance of Arevalo, allegedly submitted more than 8,000 fraudulent voter registration applications for homeless people, as well as faking names, addresses, and signatures on paperwork to nominate Montenegro himself to run for Mayor of Hawthorne, a city nearby Los Angeles that borders Inglewood and the Los Angeles International Airport.
The pair also used Montenegro’s home address, as well as three post office boxes, to receive the mail-in ballots.
“Ok, so it’s not a done deal yet, but they were only really aiming at the Hawthorne Mayor’s office,” explained “Dan”, an employee with the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s office who wished to remain anonymous. “They weren’t dumping votes for the presidential election or any other office really. Their aim was, and this is still allegedly right now I should say, was to get enough names to get one of them on the ballot and then crank out a lot of votes for them.”
“Problem is, all of those names they put down? They had four addresses for, like, thousands of people. Of course they were going to get caught. But this is why we check ballots and make sure votes are legitimate. It’s a big issue right now, especially with the Trump camp challenging it in a bunch of states, and doubtless a few local races will do it too. But we need to get it right.
“These are serious offenses. They don’t always play out like 80’s comedies like they did with these two.”
If convicted on all counts, Montenegro faces up to 15 and a half years in a state prison, with Arevalo looking at up to 7 years.