ACORN's Rap Sheet

Amanda Carpenter
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Posted: Oct 13, 2008 1:23 PM
ACORN's Rap Sheet

The Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now has compiled an irrefutable record of voter registration fraud in recent elections.

The non-profit is accused of submitting fraudulent voter registration applications in 13 states this election cycle. Seven of those states have already launched investigations into ACORN’s activities.

During the 2006 election cycle, ACORN submitted false applications to election officials in Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington.

Several of their organizers have already landed in jail. Seven ACORN workers were indicted for voter registration fraud in Washington last year for submitting nearly 3,400 fraudulent forms in King and Pierce County, which included applications for “Veronica Mars” and the deceased Army Ranger and NFL player Pat Tillman. Three of the workers eventually pled guilty and ACORN was ordered to pay a $25,000 settlement fee.

After the 2004 election, two former ACORN workers were convicted of perjury for submitting false voter registration forms in Denver, Colorado.

But ACORN continues to submit fraudulent voter applications.

A prosecutor in Ohio’s Cuyahoga County interviewed two witnesses who were harassed by ACORN officials on Monday. A 19-year old named Freddie Johnson said ACORN officials convinced him to register to vote 73 times. “They would come up with a sob story when they needed a signature,” Johnson told the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Monday.

Christopher Buckley, a Domino’s pizza delivery driver, also witnessed to the board. He said ACORN workers told him, “I could help them hold onto a job” by signing multiple registration forms.

State and federal authorities in Nevada announced they were launching a task force to investigate voter registration fraud in Clark County last week. Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he believes ACORN has submitted somewhere between 2,000-3,000 fraudulent applications a week, some of which have included forms for the entire starting line-up of the Dallas Cowboys.

Officials in Bridgeport, Connecticut say ACORN has cost their county thousands of dollars in overtime because their workers have been forced to sift through ACORN’s false applications. ACORN fired a worker in Seminole County, Florida after the group admitted filing fraudulent registration forms.

Lake County, Indiana Election Board Director Sally LaSota said she received nearly 2,000 new voter applications from ACORN workers that 1,100 of which were “no good” and appeared to be taken directly from a telephone book. Election officials have reported similar activity in Michigan. Oakland County officials have discovered more than 33,000 duplicate voter registration applications, mostly submitted by ACORN workers.

The FBI is making plans to investigate in Kansas City, Missouri after a Jackson County election worker identified nearly 300 suspicious voter registration forms submitted by ACORN.

ACORN’s fraud extends to their highest offices of well. The New York Times reported ACORN hid the $1 million embezzlement by ACORN founder Wade Rathke’s brother Dave Rathke. Founder Rathke told the New York Times the embezzlement was kept a secret because he did not want conservatives to use the crime as a “weapon” against ACORN.

ACORN receives federal funds each year from the Federal Housing Finance Agency through various grants.

Republican Sen. John Ensign (Nev.) wrote a letter to FHA last week calling on the agency to suspend funding for ACORN due to “recent news tying ACORN with voter fraud.”

The letter was signed by Republican Sens. Michael Enzi (Wyo.), David Vitter (La.), Pat Roberts (Kans), Tom Coburn (Okla), John Thune (S.D.) and Jim DeMint (S.C).