Officials found guilty in Obama, Clinton ballot petition fraud
South Bend, Indiana
A jury in South Bend, Indiana has found that fraud
put President Obama and Hillary Clinton on the
presidential primary ballot in Indiana in the 2008
election. Two Democratic political operatives were
convicted Thursday night in the illegal scheme after
only three hours of deliberations. They were found
guilty on all counts.
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
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.
"I think this helped uphold the integrity of the
electoral system," the prosecutor, Stan Levco told
“Their verdict of guilt is not a verdict against
Democrats, but for honest and fair elections,” he
The 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. He waited three years
before telling authorities about it, but if
revelations about any forgeries were raised during
the election, the petitions could have been
challenged during the contest. A candidate who did
not qualify with enough legitimate signatures at the
time, could have been bounced from the ballot.
The case raise questions about whether in 2008,
then candidate Obama actually submitted enough
legitimate signatures to have legally qualified for
the primary ballot.
“I think had they been challenged successfully, he
probably would not have been on the ballot,” Levco
told Fox News.
Under state law, presidential candidates need to
qualify for the primary ballots with 500 signatures
from each of the state's nine congressional
districts. Indiana election officials say that in
St. Joseph County, which is the 2nd Congressional
district, the Obama campaign qualified with 534
signatures; Clinton's camp had 704.
Prosecutors say that in President Obama's case,
nine of the petition pages were apparently forged.
Each petition contains up to 10 names, making a
possible total of 90 names, which, if faked, could
have brought the Obama total below the legal limit
required to qualify. Prosecutors say 13 Clinton
petitions were apparently forged, meaning up to 130
possibly fake signatures. Even if 130
signatures had been challenged, it would have still
left Mrs. Clinton with enough signatures to meet the
500 person threshold.
Levco said a total of “100 to 200” signatures had
been forged on Obama’s and Clinton’s petitions.
An Indiana State Police investigator said in court
papers that the agency examined the suspect Obama
petitions and "selected names at random from each of
the petition pages and contacted those people
directly. We found at least one person (and often
multiple people) from each page who confirmed that
they had not signed" petitions "or given consent for
their name and/or signature to appear."
Numerous voters told Fox News that they never
signed the petitions.
"That's not my signature," Charity Rorie, a mother
of four, told us when we showed her the Obama
petition with her name and signature. She was
stunned, saying that it "absolutely" was a fake.
Charity told Fox News that her husband's entry was
also a forgery, and that they have never been
contacted by investigators or any authorities
looking into the scandal.
"It's scary, it's shocking. It definitely is
illegal," she told us.
Robert Hunter, Jr. told Fox news that his name was
"I did not sign for Barack Obama," he told us. As
he examined the Obama petition in his hands, Hunter
pointed out that "I always put 'Junior' after my
name, every time...there's no 'Junior' there
Even a former Democratic Governor of Indiana, Joe
Kernan, told Fox News that his name was forged.
“This is a bitter sweet moment for free and fair
elections," observed Ryan Nees, the Indiana born
Yale “University senior who first exposed the scheme
in the independent political newsletter, Howey
Politics Indiana and South Bend Tribune.
Nees said the multiple guilty verdicts were
"bitter, because a five-person conspiracy succeeded
in illegally placing two presidential candidates on
the ballot, but sweet because they were exposed,
tried for their crimes, and convicted."
Nees previously told Fox News that the fraud was
clearly evident, "because page after page of
signatures are all in the same handwriting," and
that nobody raised any red flags "because election
workers in charge of verifying their validity were
the same people faking the signatures."