Indiana State Police raided the offices of Indiana Voter Registration in downtown Indianapolis, a group run by longtime Democratic operative Craig Varoga.
The raid was part of an ongoing investigation which originally started in two counties and has now spread to nine: Hendricks, Marion, Allen, Delaware, Hamilton, Hancock, Johnson, Lake, and Madison counties.
As TV station Fox 59 reports:
State police say an investigation of this nature is complex, time consuming and is expected to continue for several more weeks or months.
“Some people are having the incorrect names, with incorrect addresses, or the correct names with incorrect addresses, or the correct names with incorrect date of birth and that will come to play, if you go to vote, they’re not going to let you vote,” said ISP Sgt. Rich Myers.
Liberal journalism site Raw Story contacted Patriot Majority USA President Craig Varoga, who gave them the following statement about the recent raid:
After all is said and done, when this partisan investigation finds no wrongdoing by the organization, Connie Lawson and the Indiana State Police will have prevented 45,000 African Americans from voting in this year’s elections. That is why today we reported their outrageous actions to the Department of Justice.
ISP investigating potential voter fraud on behalf of Indiana Voter Registration Project (housed here).. Potential fraud may span 9 counties. pic.twitter.com/vmFcDY4i8Q
— James Gherardi (@JamesGherardi) October 4, 2016
Varoga has a long resume in Democrat politics, including work as the director of state research for Bill Clinton’s reelection bid in 1996 and working for both Al Gore’s and Wesley Clark’s presidential campaigns. He has worked for Democrats at local, state, and national levels and in 2004 was a strategy consultant for the Democratic National Committee. As Ballotpedia reported about his Patriot Majority:
In 2005, Varoga founded a network of organizations called the Patriot Majority. According to Politico, “Patriot Majority is comprised of a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that can, among other things, devote a minority of its resources to running independent ads in elections without disclosing its donors, a so-called 527 organization that does not disclose its activities to the Federal Election Commission and more recently a super PAC that can accept unlimited donations from corporations and unions.”
The Huffington Post reported in 2011 that the Patriot Majority PAC was targeting Tea Party candidates:
Patriot Majority PAC, a group created last year by Democratic Party strategist Craig Varoga, has a new mission — make sure the U.S. House and Senate stay Tea Party free.
“Americans need to confront the dangerous ideas of the tea party movement head on, without any fear, before they gain any additional traction in the legislative process or the 2010 elections,” Varoga told the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza.
Varoga’s PAC hopes to combat the influence of the Tea Party by targeting 12 to 15 races involving candidates from the conservative movement and launching an independent counter-attack of television, radio and online ads, according to Cillizza.
As the electoral battles go forward, Varoga also hopes to establish Patriot Majority PAC as an archive of negative information on the Tea Party movement. In a tweet on Monday, the PAC asked “Citizens Across US to Help Monitor Violence.”
In mid-September, Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson claimed that the group turned in forged voter registration applications that had changed voters’ addresses to an address not associated with the voter, without the knowledge of the voter.
According to TV station WTHR, at that time the Indiana Voter Registration Project issued the following statement:
We sincerely hope that no one in a partisan elected position is using their office in an effort to make it harder for the people of Indiana to vote. The Indiana Voter Registration Project is a nonpartisan effort to ensure that all Indianans who are eligible to vote can do so. As part of its quality-assurance program, the Indiana Voter Registration Project has reviewed tens of thousands of applications and identified a small handful that may have had incomplete or inaccurate information and, in those instances, we immediately informed the Registrar and asked them to double check those forms for accuracy. We have and will continue to work with Indiana authorities to resolve these issues, so that no one is prevented from voting in November who is eligible to do so.
Indiana State Police say the investigation could take months.