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Signature gatherer busted for registration fraud

October 19, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
The owner of a signature-gathering firm has been arrested on suspicion of voter registration fraud, authorities said Sunday. Mark Anthony Jacoby, who owns the firm Young Political Majors, is accused of registering himself to vote twice- in 2006 and in 2007- using the address of a childhood home in Los Angeles where he no longer lived.

The Secretary of State's Office said Jacoby used the address to meet a state requirement that signature-gatherers sign a declaration stating that they are either registered to vote in California or are eligible to do so.

State investigators and local police arrested Jacoby shortly before midnight Saturday near an Ontario hotel on a warrant issued by the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office earlier this month.

Jacoby faces four felony charges: two counts of voter registration fraud and two counts of perjury. Voter registration fraud carries a penalty of up to three years in prison. Jacoby could not be reached for comment.

This is not the first time that Jacoby has been embroiled in voter controversy.

Earlier this year, dozens of voters accused YPM, which had been hired by the California Republican Party, of tricking them into registering as Republicans. The voters said they thought they were signing a petition calling for stiffer penalties for child molesters.

In 2005, Massachusetts voters made a similar complaint.

They said a signature-gathering firm that Jacoby was working for as a subcontractor-Arno Political Consultants- duped them into signing an anti-gay marriage petition when they were told they were signing a ballot question about the sale of wine in grocery stores.

One signature-gatherer told a state hearing that Jacoby had personally trained her in the bait-and-switch tactic.

 

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