A Virginia man faces four felony charges after officials said he fabricated voter registration applications.
While employed by a local advocacy group, officials said 30-year-old Vafalay Massaquoi fabricated applications for new voter registration. They said he invented applicants.
According to the Alexandria Commonwealths Attorney’s Office, Massaquoi then filed the fake applicants with the Alexandria Office of the General Registrar.
Massaquoi was charged with two felony counts forging a public record and two felony counts of voter registration fraud. Each charged carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Heis being held in the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for December 13.
Commonwealth's Attorney Bryan L. Porter made the following statement:
"Given the nature of these charges and the fact that an election is imminent, this case constitutes a matter of public import that justifies a limited release of information. I emphasize, however, that the accused is presumed to be innocent, that my office must prove any charge through the adduction of admissible evidence at trial and that the accused's guilt should not be inferred simply because he has been charged with a criminal offense."
"Given the recent public attention to claims of election fraud, I think it is important to note that there is no allegation that any illegal vote was actually cast in this case. Furthermore, since the fraudulent applications involved fictitious people, had the fraud not been uncovered the risk of actual fraudulent votes being cast was low. However, any such offense is extremely serious and can degrade the confidence we as citizens justly have in our system of elections."
"The offenses alleged occurred in the spring of 2016. The allegations were brought to my attention in June of 2016, and were subsequently investigated by my office and the Alexandria Police Department. I authorized the police to seek warrants in July; however, by that time the accused had moved out of Alexandria and his whereabouts were unknown. In early October, after a lengthy search, the accused was arrested near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was extradited to Alexandria on October 27 and arraigned this morning."