02 October 2006

Allegations trip up voting rights group

Andrew Welsh-Huggins, AP

An advocacy group that registered more than a million voters two years ago is wrestling with new allegations of voter fraud and sloppy work just weeks before crucial midterm elections.

In Philadelphia, the city's voter registration office has rejected about 3,000 cards submitted by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now since April because of missing information or invalid addresses.

Election officials in three of Ohio's largest counties have cited problems with hundreds of voter registration cards. ACORN is accused of submitting cards with nonexistent addresses, forged signatures and, in one case, for someone who died seven years ago.

[...] ACORN, which has about 220,000 members nationally, registered 1.2 million people to vote in 2004 and is running voter registration drives in 17 states this year.

The nonprofit dispatches workers and volunteers to poor neighborhoods, gas stations, courthouses and other places to sign up new voters.

[...] ACORN also was accused of fraud in 2004 in Ohio, Florida, Minnesota, North Carolina and Virginia, and in 2003 in Missouri.
Prosecution is rare, and federal lawsuits against the group were dismissed in Florida.


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