Voter Fraud? Officials Raise Concerns About Thousands of Suspicious Voter Registrations


Charles Jackson, a spokesperson for ACORN, said the number of problematic registrations were "relatively low" considering that 1.3 million voter registrations collected by the group this year. "You have these isolated incidents that people seem to amplify and make a bigger deal that it really is," said Jackson.


ACORN has touted its success in collecting nearly 3 million voter registrations since 2004, but the group's track record has been marred with allegations of voter registration fraud and the criminal prosecutions of employees caught tampering and falsifying registration cards.


Last year, King County prosecutors in Washington state brought felony charges against seven ACORN canvassers in what one official described as the worst case of voter registration fraud in the state's history. Some OF the workers pled guilty and went to jail, while the ACORN agreed to pay the county $25,000 and have its activities monitored by authorities as a part of a settlement.

ACORN: New Quality Control

ACORN says that it has worked to clean up its act by adopting new "quality control" standards, including procedures to double-check all registrations and flag any questionable or incomplete cards for officials. "We pay people to do a job and sometimes they don't do it," said Jackson. "They turn in cards that are not complete, turn in cards that they have tampered with, and so we have a program in place to catch those types of things."


Jackson added that the group has a policy of firing any employee it finds tampering with registrations, and referring those former employees for criminal prosecution.


ACORN's past problems and liberal leanings have made the group a frequent target of Republican attacks. "It is clear that ACORN is engaging in an effort to try and take away from our election system by submitting thousands of forms that are unusable on county clerks place the burden on them," said Republican National Committee spokesperson Danny Diaz in a conference call with reporters yesterday.


Diaz cited the recent incidents to accuse ACORN of perpetrating "systemic voter fraud."


Jackson says there is no evidence of ACORN registrations being used to cast fraudulent votes. "Our goal is to empower low-income people," said Jackson. "In no way, shape, or form do we want to tamper with the electoral process, we'd have nothing to gain from that."


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