The case of trashed voter registration forms has now led to criminal charges in Rockingham County. Colin Small, 23, of Pennsylvania faces 13 felony and misdemeanor counts, all of them related to alleged voter fraud. He's being held in the Rockingham Regional Jail.
A Harrisonburg store manager reported seeing Small dump a trash bag containing eight voter registration forms, just before the Monday filing deadline. Investigators say Small worked for a private company, contracted by the Republican Party of Virginia to register voters.
The Rockingham County sheriff does not believe the document trashing was widespread. He also says he doesn't believe there were political motives behind the incident. No other cases have been reported.
In a statement late Thursday night from the Republican Party of Virginia, they say Small's alleged actions are a direct contradiction of both his training and the explicit instructions given to him. Chairman Pat Mullins said, "The Republican Party of Virginia will not tolerate any action by any person that could threaten the integrity of our electoral process."
Rockingham County Sheriff's Office Press Release
The Rockingham County Sheriff's Office has made an arrest in the investigation of voter registration fraud that began on the afternoon of October 15th when law enforcement received a citizen complaint of voter registration application forms being found in a dumpster behind a business in the City of Harrisonburg.
The following individual has been charged:
Mr. Colin Small, 23 year old male of Phoenixville, PA
Voter Registration Supervisor employed by Pinpoint, an independent private organization contracted by the Republican Party of Virginia for purposes of general voter registration.
The following charges have been placed:
Four (4) counts of Destruction of Voter Registration Application, Class 1 Misdemeanor, Section 24.2-1002.01, Code of Virginia
Eight (8) counts of Disclosure of Voter Registration Application, Class 5 Felony, Section 24.2-1002.01, Code of Virginia
One (1) count of Obstruction of Justice, Class 1 Misdemeanor, Section 18.2-460(A), Code of Virginia
These charges are based upon lengthy consultation with and assistance from the Rockingham County Commonwealth Attorney's Office regarding the investigation. There is no indication that this activity was widespread in our jurisdiction; it appears to be very limited in nature but there is the possibility that additional charges may be filed in the future if it is deemed appropriate. There are no other details that we can release at this time, as this is still an active and ongoing criminal investigation.
Anyone who may have a question regarding their own voter registration status is encouraged to contact the County Registrar's office or the Sheriff's Office.
The NBC29 newsroom received the following statement from Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins:
"We were alarmed by allegations recently made regarding an individual in Harrisonburg. The actions taken by this individual are a direct contradiction of both his training and explicit instructions given to him. The Republican Party of Virginia will not tolerate any action by any person that could threaten the integrity of our electoral process. The individual in question was fired immediately after we learned of his alleged actions. We are grateful to the local sheriff's office and Registrar for acting so quickly to protect our democratic process and will fully cooperate with any requests made by them. However, since there is currently an investigation underway, we will refrain from any further comments until they have concluded their inquiry."