ACORN Voting Drives Come Under Scrutiny
State and federal investigators are questioning the validity of some voting drives performed by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, the group whose registration tactics are largely aimed at low-income citizens.
Such voting drives tend to favor Democratic candidates, according to an Associated Press analysis of voting data.
ACORN, which claims to have registered 1.3 million people nationwide since 2007, says that any fraudulent voting registrations have more to do with canvassers making up fake applications to get better commissions than a concerted effort to influence the outcome of the election.
Last Tuesday, Nevada authorities seized records from the group's Las Vegas offices, saying they submitted fake voter-registration forms, including applications purportedly from the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys.
Two Nevada state agencies had started the probe in July after complaints over voter registration practices, potential voter fraud and enforcement of laws regarding voter intimidation.
Voter drives conducted by ACORN in several other places, including the bellwether state of Missouri, are under scrutiny by local elections officials for the accuracy of cards gathered by its workers.
Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) campaign has criticized the group, questioned the organizations' ties to his opponent, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), and chants of "No More ACORN" can be heard at some of the Republican senator's rallies.
"It is very difficult to ascribe any other motive to the activities of ACORN other than to swamp the system with registration cards" that range from illegible to being drawn from names from telephone listings or other public directories, said Republican National Committee Chief Counsel Sean Cairncross.
In response, Obama's campaign has said he only represented the group as a lawyer and never worked on its behalf as a community organizer.
Appearing on Fox News's "On The Record With Greta Van Susteren" for an exclusive interview, ACORN'S national spokesman, Scott Levenson, called the timing of the investigations "curious."
"What ACORN did, along with Project Vote, is as American as apple pie," Levenson said. "What we're doing is out there encouraging people to participate in the process. That work should be applauded."
By Derek Kravitz |
October 13, 2008; 2:47 PM ET
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