By Devon Spungin and Brooke Georgiadis
An investigation has raised questions about the Launch Party’s voter registration practices.
Two delegates from the media program, Kyra Powell and Spring Reviea, were switched from one political party to another without their consent, after trying to interview a member of the Launch Party for a news story.
“We were trying to interview a guy from the Launch Party who said we could only interview him if we joined his political party,” Powell said. “We had just previously joined the Sunrise Party, and he knew that because we told him, but he kept insisting that we join and so he looked at our badges and compared and jotted our names down on his phone and I guess our voter IDs.”
Despite the fact that Powell and Reviea never gave the delegate permission to transfer them from the Sunrise Party to the Launch Party, information provided from the parties’ registration rosters show that they were later transferred.
The act of transferring a delegate from one political party to another directly aids the party that gains the delegate. Every time a delegate converts, the party on the receiving end gains $50 towards their campaigning efforts while the other party loses $50. A loss of funds can severely impact a political party because they will have less money to spend on their campaign for their Youth Governor candidate.
When the chair of the Launch Party, Shahzad Khan, was asked about allegations of party registration fraud, he denied that his party was involved in any scandal. He understands that there has been a large issue of voter badge theft in the program but assures that his party has been ethical from the beginning. Shahzad also stated that he has discussed how to give proper party pitches with the Launch Party members.
This investigation has not examined other political parties and the possibility that there is a wider problem of wrongful party registration.