Howard Rich's Blog

May 8, 2009

7 Pa. ACORN workers charged in voter probe

From the Washington Examiner

Seven Pittsburgh-area ACORN workers were charged with falsifying voter registration forms, with six accused of doing so to meet the group’s alleged quota system before last year’s general election.
District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. said he’s hoping the workers charged Thursday will help authorities determine whether Allegheny County ACORN officials will be charged with requiring the illegal quotas or otherwise directing that voter registrations be faked.
“You should consider the investigation as ongoing,” Zappala said.
Six suspects forged a total of 51 cards, a felony that carries up to seven years in prison. The same six also were charged with illegally accepting payments to meet a quota of 20 registrations per day — a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
The one defendant not charged with either of those crimes told police he filled out at least 100 voter registration cards in his own name, even though he was already registered and knew it was illegal. He’s charged with misdemeanor counts of obstructing and interfering with the elections process, as are several of the others.
Zappala said investigators targeted 100 local ACORN canvassers after county elections officials started noticing dozens of possibly forged registration forms in August. ACORN registered 38,000 new voters in southwestern Pennsylvania, including about 33,600 in the county last year, Zappala said.
There’s no evidence anybody voted illegally or was denied a vote because of the scam, Zappala said.
One worker allegedly forged cards using names of already registered voters, but with different addresses. Another unwittingly solicited a county elections worker who filled out a card but didn’t sign it. The card wound up filed, with a forged signature and fake Social Security number. Two other workers filed 13 and 30 forged cards, respectively, using bogus information, including names of dead or nonexistent people.

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