With less than a month until the presidential election, investigators are looking into allegations of voter registration fraud in at least 12 states. As citizens registered to vote in record-breaking numbers across the country this week, local election officials raised concerns about thousands of suspicious voter registration cards collected by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, commonly known as ACORN.
ACORN, which said it registered about 1.3 million voters nationwide this year, is facing similar allegations in several other states. The group has encountered complaints of fraud stemming from registration efforts in Wisconsin, North Carolina, New Mexico, Michigan, Ohio and Missouri.
In Wisconsin, Attorney General’s Office says they already charged two people with voter registration fraud. The State’s Election Fraud Task Force is also investigating allegations that Wisconsin based members of ACORN, the advocacy group for lower-income community members, fraudulently registered voters.
In Ohio, the bipartisan Cuyahoga County Board of Elections voted unanimously to ask county Prosecutor Bill Mason to investigate multiple registrations by four people who signed forms at the behest of ACORN. One of the new voters, Freddie Johnson, 19, of Cleveland, said he signed 73 voter registration forms over a five-month period. In return, ACORN canvassers gave him cigarettes or cash, about $20 in all, he told WEWS-TV in Cleveland.
In Missouri, Governor Matt Blunt is uncertain whether his state will have a fair election on November 4TH, and his concerns revolve around ACORN as well. The group says that it has registered more than 50,000 people in
Missouri for this upcoming election.
"They (ACORN) really try to create chaos on Election Day. I don’t think we can say until election is over and votes are counted if we had a fair election and free of fraud when you have a group out there like acorn that is involved in daily activities designed to disrupt the process," Blunt says.
Last week, Nevada authorities seized records from the Las Vegas offices of ACORN. The authorities accused ACORN of submitting fraudulent voter-registration forms — including for the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys.
"Tony Romo is not registered to vote in the state of Nevada, and anybody trying to pose as Terrell Owens won’t be able to cast a ballot on Nov. 4," said Secretary of State Ross Miller, referring to star players on the pro football team.
Election officials in Indiana reported that nearly half of the 2,040 registrations submitted by ACORN on county’s final day of registration were deemed "suspicious" because of missing or incorrect information or other irregularities.
There are even reports that attempts were made to register Mickey Mouse as a voter in Florida. Florida elections officials rejected Mickey’s application this past summer. It is unclear whether Mickey tried to register as a Democrat or a Republican. But the application included a stamped logo of ACORN.