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St. Joseph County Clerk calls for investigation into suspicious signatures for presidential candidate Dean Phillips

Early voters cast their ballots at last month in Milwaukee.
Early voters cast their ballots at last month in Milwaukee.

Last week the St. Joseph County Clerk’s office received over 500 signatures on a petition to put Democratic presidential candidate Dean Phillips on this year’s primary ballot.

On Friday, county clerk Amy Rolfes publicly announced she believes most of those signatures are fake and has forwarded the matter to the Indiana State Police and state election officials.

Rolfes did not immediately return a phone call from WVPE seeking clarity on the allegations.

At a Friday morning press conference, the South Bend Tribune reportsRolfes said she noticed one volunteer submitted 530 signatures in one day. The clerk’s office staff noticed most of the signatures don’t line up with previous signatures from those voters in the state’s voter registration system.

Looking further, Rolfes, who is a Republican, said many of the signatures listed addresses that don’t exist and so she alerted authorities.

Indiana State Police spokesman Sgt. Ted Bohner confirmed to WVPE that ISP is looking into the matter, though he said “we anticipate this to be a lengthy investigation.”

Dean Phillips is a U.S. Representative from Minnesota who’s running as a Democrat against President Joe Biden.

St. Joseph County previously saw petition fraud when former Democratic Party Chair Owen “Butch” Morgan was convicted of a scheme to get candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the 2008 ballot.

According to the Tribune, Rolfes did not say if the person who turned in the signatures was someone from St. Joseph County or not.

Marek Mazurek has been with WVPE since April 2023, though he's been in Michiana for most of his life. He has a particular interest in public safety reporting. When he's not on the radio, Marek enjoys getting way too into Notre Dame football and reading about medieval English history.