Va. election officials to probe fraud charges against Moran

Local,Virginia,Steve Contorno

Virginia election officials voted unanimously Friday to investigate whether Democratic Rep. Jim Moran's son, Patrick, committed any crimes when he instructed an undercover conservative activist on how to illegally cast ballots.

The State Board of Elections also asked Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to investigate the individual who made a secret recording of the incident.

A conservative group founded by activist James O'Keefe on Wednesday released an undercover video in which an operative asks Patrick Moran how to cast votes for 100 Virginains who are unlikely to vote themselves. Moran is shown explaining that utility bills could be forged to reflect the names and address the 100 voters and shown to election officials to get ballots.

The video caused a national sensation at a time when the two major political parties are hotly debating the existence of voter fraud.

Hours after the video was made public, Patrick Moran resigned as field director of his father's re-election campaign. Republicans have called for Jim Moran, an Alexandria Democrat, to resign. Moran's opponent in the Nov. 6 race, Patrick Murray, is making the episode a keystone of his campaign.

Earlier this week, the state election board asked Cuccinelli to investigate an employee of a GOP-hired company who was caught throwing out voter registration forms in Harrisonburg, Va.

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