SACRAMENTO - The owner of a signature-gathering firm that works across
California was arrested in Ontario today on suspicion of committing
voter registration fraud, Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced.
Mark Anthony Jacoby, who owns the firm known as Young Political Majors
(YPM), was arrested after allegedly registering himself to vote, once in
2006 and again in 2007, at an address where did not live. An
investigation by the Secretary of State's Election Fraud Investigation
Unit revealed that Jacoby twice registered to vote at the address of a
childhood home in Los Angeles although he no longer lived there.
The Secretary of State's fraud unit and the Ontario Police Department
arrested Jacoby near an Ontario hotel just before midnight Saturday. An
arraignment date has not been scheduled yet.
"Voter registration fraud is a serious issue, which is why I vigorously
investigate all allegations of elections fraud," said Secretary Bowen,
California's chief elections officer. "Where there's a case to be made,
I will forward it to law enforcement for criminal prosecution."
For his business, Jacoby traveled California and a number of other
states collecting petition signatures and registering voters. Under
state law, signature-gatherers must sign a declaration stating that they
are either registered to vote in California or that they are eligible to
do so. Jacoby allegedly registered to vote at his childhood address to
meet this legal requirement.
Under California law, it is a felony punishable by up to three years in
prison to register yourself when you are not entitled to vote and it is
perjury to provide false information on a voter registration card.
District Attorney's office charged Jacoby with four felonies: two counts
of voter registration fraud and two counts of perjury. A warrant was
issued for his arrest and bail was set at $50,000.
"This arrest wouldn't have been possible without the hard work of the
Ontario Police Department and Los Angeles District Attorney Steve
Cooley's office," Secretary Bowen said. "I thank them both."
The Secretary of State's Election Fraud Investigation Unit helps
maintain the integrity of the electoral process by investigating
allegations of election and voter fraud in California. Potential
Elections Code violations brought to the unit's attention are thoroughly
investigated and referred to law enforcement officials for prosecution
when there is sufficient evidence of wrongdoing. The Secretary of
State's office does not disclose information about the status of ongoing
criminal investigations, but the information from a case that results in
a criminal complaint filed by a county or state prosecutor is a public
Anyone who has witnessed a violation of the California Elections Code is
encouraged to contact the Secretary of State's Election Fraud
Investigation Unit at (800) 345-VOTE or