JUNE 26, 2009
A well known and politically connected La Raza activist who served as board chairman of a California public school district has been arrested and charged with four felony counts of voter fraud.
The renowned Latino rights activist (Nativo Lopez), in trouble for voter fraud in the past, cast an illegal ballot in the 2008 presidential primary and used a false address to register in another county, according to the California Secretary of State Election Fraud Investigation Unit.
Lopez registered to vote using a leased commercial office in Los Angeles although he lived with his family in another county (Orange County). Under state law registering where you are not entitled to vote is a felony punishable by up to three years in prison. Fraudulent voting, which Lopez has also been charged with, is also a felony punishable by up to three years in jail.
The Los Angeles County prosecutor’s office has charged the longtime immigration advocate with fraudulent voter registration, fraudulent document filing, perjury and fraudulent voting. In 1996 Lopez was investigated for registering new voters before their citizenship was finalized to help a popular Mexican American Democrat (Loretta Sanchez) get elected to the U.S. House.
Lopez is a veteran of the illegal immigrant rights movement and is the president of the Mexican American Political Association, a decades-old group with offices throughout California that claims its time for Latinos to take their “rightful place” in American government. Lopez regularly organizes marches and boycotts throughout the state to protest measures he claims are discriminatory against illegal immigrants.
For years Lopez was an elected member of a southern California school board district (Santa Ana Unified) which serves about 55,000 mostly Hispanic students. He also served as chairman of the board and got in trouble for ignoring a state law requiring English instruction in public schools to accommodate illegal immigrants that demanded subjects in Spanish. The violation cost Nativo his school board post in 2003 when an overwhelming majority of residents voted to recall him.
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