Wednesday, October 08, 2008

BREAKING: ACORN says it can't prevent voter registration fraud

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

A national voter-registration group admitted to Cuyahoga County election officials Tuesday that it cannot eliminate fraud from its operation.

The group blamed inefficiency and lack of resources for problems such as being unable to spot duplicate voter-registration cards or cards that may have been filled out by workers to make quotas.

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, has turned in at least 65,000 cards to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections in the last year. The board has investigated potentially fraudulent cards since August.

The group has faced similar inquiries in other large Ohio counties. And Nevada state authorities recently raided ACORN's Las Vegas headquarters searching for evidence of fraud, according to the Associated Press.

Local representatives of the organization told Cuyahoga board members that they don't have the resources to identify fraudulent cards turned in by paid canvassers who are told to register low- and moderate-income voters.

Cuyahoga election workers flagged about 50 names on suspicious cards. The cards were to register the same names, raising the possibility that canvassers shared information when trying to make quotas.

"This is not something you can catch with your internal controls, apparently," said board member Sandy McNair at the meeting.

"Not perfectly, no," replied Mari Engelhardt, ACORN political director for Ohio.

Once stacks of registration cards are returned to ACORN offices, workers verify information by calling the phone number provided on the card, the board was told. If information is missing or ACORN identifies a suspicious card, it is given to the Board of Elections with a notice that it could be problematic.

ACORN workers who double-check cards can't be expected to remember names and addresses previously verified, said Teresa James, an attorney for Project Vote representing ACORN.

Engelhardt said supervisors sometimes fail to prevent different canvassers from attempting to register the same person.



"We do not have the resources to know if a particular card is fictitious," James said.

Voter-registration organizations cannot, by law, withhold registration cards from election boards. The groups are obligated to report potential errors, a spokesman for Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner told The Plain Dealer.

Kris Harsh, ACORN's head Cleveland organizer, blamed the elections board for not scrutinizing ACORN's suspicious cards. He said the group can't be expected to catch everything.

"None of us have ever achieved perfection," Harsh said.

The elections board will continue its inquiry Monday, when it expects testimony from three people it will subpoena after a review of the ACORN investigation. The names appeared on multiple registration cards submitted by ACORN and other organizations.

6 comments:

Tim Higgins said...

And once again a liberally sponsored group, with many years of experience in registering new voters (and a fair amount of it rather shady), has claimed "victim" rather than perpetrator status. The sad thing is that they will probably get it.

Perhaps they actually understand the rules far better than most of us, as I now expect the media to defend their efforts and decry the election board criticisms. This would be as bizarre as blaming the police for the proliferation of crime.

Were such a thing perpetrated by a conservative group, there would be riots in the streets and "tar and feathers" in abundance.

Publius said...

Here's an idea that could eliminate fraud from ACORN's acts: verify identity when filling out these cards. Ask for I.D., a driver's license, state I.D., social security card, credit card, something. Of course, if you want to truly eliminate fraud from ACORN, you would have to shut it down.

jackscrow said...

October 6th, was the last day to register to vote in this year's General Election.

I was on an errand, and happened through Northern Lights Shopping Center off of North Cleveland Avenue in Columbus.

Two of the Center's major tenants are a Thrift store and a Liquor store, and being the first Monday of the month, there was quite the little steady stream of dead-weights heading into the "Likker Sto'" for their noon bag and lotto tics.

As I drove through the lot near the Liquor and Thrift stores in the Center, I noticed two cars at the curb and three people, volunteers of some sort, waylaying the people on the sidewalk in front of the liquor store and approaching cars that were driving past. They had clipboards, and were conducting what appeared to be a shuttle service, carting "prospective voters" to the registration and early absentee voting.

I noticed they were approaching every car that came near, so I drove around the lot and then coasted by really slow, my window rolled down and looking "interested". Now, I'm pretty sure they couldn't see the Ron Paul sticker on the back of the truck, but no luck. I did it again. Still no luck.

Then I noticed a couple of guys across the lot -- they had cameras and appeared to be documenting the scene.

Now, it's not against the law to talk to people outside of liquor stores -- AT 12:00 NOON on a MONDAY; but if you're looking for a certain type of prospective voter, then you're outside of a liquor store in a certain part of town at 12 Noon on a Monday. Right?

Right.

I'm a-bettin' they weren't Republican volunteers. Know what I mean?

gordon gekko said...

From little ACORNs mighty Obama's grow.

Accually, I've never understood how/why we have third party, non government types do the job of registering voters.

This seems like it should be the exclusive domain of the state.

When you consider that you can register on line, in person at the BOE, fill out the registration form enclosed with your tax returns, this seems ripe for just this kind of activity.

At what point does a citizen have a responsibility to seek out and act on their "right to vote"?

If the only way to vote is have an ACORN rep show up at a supermarket for you to fill out the forms, it doesn't appear to me that you consider your civic duty all that important.

jackscrow said...

GG, this is a great point. Can I quote you?

"... When you consider that you can register on line, in person at the BOE, fill out the registration form enclosed with your tax returns, this seems ripe for just this kind of activity.

At what point does a citizen have a responsibility to seek out and act on their "right to vote"?

If the only way to vote is have an ACORN rep show up at a supermarket for you to fill out the forms, it doesn't appear to me that you consider your civic duty all that important."

Howard said...

STEALING THE VOTES OF AMERICANS IS OUTRAGEOUS !!!
Acorn's voter fraud registration must be investigated. Also, Obama's involvement must be investigated. With the increasing number of anti-American racists and crooks surrounding Obama, we must insure that he does not steal this election. We must also investigate the legitimacy of Obama's foreign and domestic campaign contributions.

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