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A Pattern of Voter Registration Fraud

In my last couple of posts, I've told you about how last Thursday the House Financial Services Committee unanimously accepted my amendment to keep tax dollars from flowing to organizations indicted for voter fraud. As you may remember, Committee Chairman Barney Frank later decided that he wants to raise the bar so that an organization would have to be convicted of voter fraud – not just indicted – before we turn off the flow of tax dollars. Later today, the House will begin debate on the underlying legislation, the
Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act, and I expect that Chairman Frank will try to strip my taxpayer protection amendment from the bill.

Yesterday, I posted a link to an Associated Press report detailing how Nevada authorities  have filed criminal charges against ACORN and two former employees for voter registration fraud.

However, this is not the first time ACORN has made the headlines for their questionable voter registration practices.

  • A voter registration worker for ACORN in East St. Louis was indicted on two counts of voter fraud for submitting forged cards for residents at nursing homes without their knowledge. - KSDK, 1/09

  • “A suburban Philadelphia man is charged with forgery, allegedly altering 18 voter-registration applications during his employment with an organization [ACORN] whose voter-outreach efforts have become a flashpoint in the presidential campaign.” – Associated Press, 10/23/08 

  • “Clifton Mitchell helped register nearly 2,000 voters for the community group ACORN. But not one of them actually existed…  Mitchell was convicted last year and spent nearly three months in prison.” – CNN, 10/22/08 

  • “An internal report by a lawyer for the community organizing group Acorn raises questions about whether the web of relationships among its 174 affiliates may have led to violations of federal laws…  The June 18 report, written by Elizabeth Kingsley, a Washington lawyer, spells out her concerns about potentially improper use of charitable dollars for political purposes; money transfers among the affiliates; and potential conflicts created by employees working for multiple affiliates, among other things.” – New York Times, 10/22/08 

According to the Economist in October of 2008 leading up to the Presidential election:

"In Orlando, home to the Magic Kingdom of Disney, Mickey Mouse tried to register. In Indiana there was an application from a sandwich shop called Jimmy Johns. Authorities in Nevada were surprised to receive voter registration forms from the starting line-up of the Dallas Cowboys.

"All these applications were provided by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), a group that works to register low-income voters. ACORN has been industrious this year, signing up 1.3m voters in 21 states according to its own tallies. But they have run into some trouble; thousands of their voter-registration applications are fakes. In Connecticut a seven-year-old girl applied. A man in Ohio admitted he had signed up with organizers more than 70 times in exchange for cash and cigarettes. In one county in Indiana ACORN turned in 5,000 applications, 2,100 of which were quickly identified as fakes."

Examples abound.

The threshold for gaining taxpayer funding should not be so low.  An organization that is repeatedly under suspicion of fraud and criminal activities should rightfully be held from accessing your money.

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