Voter Registration Group ACORN
Accused of Using Blatant Fraud
to Help Barack Obama
The activities of a highly-aggressive voter-registration group, ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) are coming under increasing scrutiny as fraud charges against them mount up in election battleground states across the country.
According to Associated Press reporter Bill Draper, Missouri election officials are toiling through a veritable mountain of suspect or duplicate voter registration forms turned in by ACORN. Senator John McCain has had a narrow lead in the polls in this bellwether state up until now.
Jackson County election board co-director Charlene Davis said the flood of late registration form submissions from ACORN was bogging government work down on this, the final day Missourians can legally register to vote.
"I don't even know the entire scope of it because registrations are coming in so heavy," Davis said. "We have identified about 100 duplicates, and probably 280 addresses that don't exist, people who have driver's license numbers that won't verify or Social Security numbers that won't verify. Some have no address at all."
Ostensibly considered non-partisan -- and therefore tax-exempt -- ACORN specializes in recruiting low-income voters, who tend to favor Democrat candidates.
ACORN representatives claim they are being targeted because "some politicians don't want that many low-income people having a voice."
But charges of intimidation and fraud have dogged the group for years. Eight ACORN workers were found guilty of federal election fraud for submitting false registration cards in the 2006 election. More recently, the names and signatures of the entire starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys professional football team showed up on voter registration cards filled out by ACORN workers in Nevada.
"It's a matter we take very seriously," said FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton. "It is against the law to register someone to vote who does not fall within the parameters to vote, or to put someone on there falsely."
While the Obama campaign in Missouri said in an e-mailed statement they supported any investigation of possible fraud, Obama himself is backpedalling from ACORN, a group he has long been associated with. In the past the group paid him to train its workers in effective street organizing tactics, and the Obama campaign has paid ACORN and/or ACORN front-groups (such as Citizens Services Inc) over $800,000 this year.
Meanwhile, fraud complaints have piled up against ACORN in Wisconsin, New Mexico, Nevada and battleground states like Michigan, Ohio and North Carolina, where new voter registrations have favored Democrats nearly 4 to 1 since the beginning of this year.
It may not matter much now whether or not Senator Obama denounces or distances himself from ACORN. The group's reputation is growing blacker by the day. And yet they may have served their purpose, too -- lifting their one-time patron into the White House.
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