Subjects: US politics
When spectators at Republican rallies spewed venomously at the Big O last week, the news overshadowed another story of possible fraudulent behavior by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), a large voter registration group that targets likely Democratic voters.
Already this year, ACORN has signed up 1.3 million new voters. But officials in a dozen states have raised concerns regarding at least 10,000 registration forms submitted by ACORN. In one Ohio county for example, ACORN registered one person 17 times. In Las Vegas last week, police raided ACORN’s offices and hauled off computers and documents.
Pursuing the story, CBS interviewed ACORN workers. Many said ACORN pressured them to increase their registration numbers, and this encouraged fraudulent activities such as transcribing names from phone books, creating fake names, using non-existent addresses, signing up dead people and registering inmates.
“Rumors of ACORN’s voter fraud have been greatly exaggerated and to a large extent manufactured,” ACORN’s chief organizer Bertha Lewis told the New York Times. She added that ACORN informed officials about bogus registrations collected by its workers and dismissed the people in question.
Expect the story to evolve along two fronts this week: how much fraud took place, and what do we make of the Big O’s connections to ACORN, which include his campaign’s $800,000 payment to an ACORN-affiliated consulting firm last spring.