Green Party signature gatherer charged with submitting false information in Nevada

CARSON CITY — A signature gatherer for the Green Party was indicted Thursday by a grand jury in Las Vegas on 15 felony counts for allegedly faking names on a petition seeking to qualify the minor party’s presidential candidate for the Nevada ballot.

The indictment handed up by the Clark County grand jury charged Renaldo Johnson, 55, of six counts of misconduct in signing, filing or altering a petition; six counts of obtaining and using personal information of another; and three counts of perjury.

It alleges Johnson falsified signatures to qualify the Nevada Green Party for general election ballot access in last month’s election, then submitted the false petitions to be filed with the secretary of state’s office, swearing under penalty of perjury the signatures were legitimate.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein did not qualify for the ballot, coming up 647 signatures short in the signature verification process. Her supporters unsuccessfully appealed the ruling in federal court.

Attorney General Adam Laxalt said in statement that a warrant had been issued for Johnson’s arrest.

“Protecting the integrity of the elections process from voter fraud and ensuring that the will of Nevadans is heard remains a priority of my office and this state,” Laxalt said. “We will continue to partner with the secretary of state’s office and prosecute those seeking to undermine the electoral process.”

The indictment alleges Johnson obtained personal information and signed the names of six different people to Green Party ballot access petition in late May and early June. The charging document does not say how he obtained the personal identifying information.

Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske said her office is committed to protecting the election process from criminal activity.

“Individuals undermining the process through illegal behavior should know that there are serious consequences to such action,” she said.

The case was referred to the secretary of state’s office for investigation by the Clark County Elections Department.

Contact Sandra Chereb at schereb@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3821. Follow @SandraChereb on Twitter.