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Dead voters’ names ‘found on Ramaswamy nomination papers’

Dead voters’ names ‘found on Ramaswamy nomination papers’

Election officials in Rhode Island have reported finding the names of dead voters on nomination papers submitted on behalf of Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy in the state, according to The Boston Globe.

The Warwick Board of Canvassers said it had found “several deceased voters” named on Mr Ramaswamy’s nomination papers while the Coventry board in the same state said it had also been forced to invalidate “an unusually high number” of signatures submitted on behalf of the candidate’s campaign, according to Ben Smith, a spokesperson for the state’s Board of Elections.

“The Board of Elections asked for local boards of canvassers to be extra vigilant and to notify them if they see patterns of fraudulent signatures,” Mr Smith said.

“They were asking to take a closer look at all nomination papers, and in this case the nomination papers for Ramaswamy.”

Tricia McLaughlin, a spokesperson for the Ramaswamy campaign, told The Globe the campaign had used an outside vendor, Ground Game LLC, to collect signatures for nomination papers in Rhode Island, which she said was common practice for political candidates.

Ms McLaughlin said an investigation had been commenced as soon as the campaign heard the news of the invalidations and had found that one of the vendor’s employees, who has since been fired, had intentionally included the names of deceased individuals on its forms.

She added that the campaign would be cooperating with local law enforcement should they deem a review to be necessary.

The Independent has contacted the Ramaswamy campaign for further comment.

Miguel J Nunez, the state Board of Elections’ deputy director of elections, followed up Mr Smith’s comments by saying that the the Coventry Board of Canvassers had “invalidated an unusually high number of signatures on the nomination papers submitted on behalf of presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, which were collected by Heidy Moore and Michael Michols”.

He advised Rhode Island’s local boards: “Please be vigilant when processing forms collected by these individuals, and contact me if you believe any contain a pattern of fraudulent signatures.”

The deadline to appear on the state’s 2 April primary ballot, requiring candidates to secure 1,000 signatures in order to qualify for inclusion, passed on Thursday afternoon.

Rhode Island’s secretary of state subsequently recorded the number of validated signatures for each Republican candidate as follows:

Mr Christie dropped out of the race on Wednesday, hours before CNN’s GOP debate in Des Moines and days ahead of Monday’s Iowa caucuses, having failed – like Mr Ramaswamy – to meet the qualifying criteria to earn a spot on the stage.