ACORN otherwise known as Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now has been in the news in multiple cities across America lately for filing voter registrations for people that were dead, underage and in some cases duplicate filings.
The latest report from The Times, NWI.com, is from Lake County Indiana.
Lake County elections officials have confirmed that a "large portion" of 5,000 registration forms turned in from the ACORN group, have been found to have problems and have been rejected.
The job of the county elections board was to weed out invalid registrations and according to Lake County Republican Chairman John Curley, more invalid forms may have been missed and slipped into the voter rolls. Curley is recommending a criminal investigation take place into the matter.
At a news conference on Wednesday, Curley stated "Fraudulent applications are the workings of ACORN groups operating from Milwaukee and Chicago who are getting out the vote for Obama. I'm Republican, but I want everyone who should vote to vote. But I want a clean election.
An ACORN spokesperson couldn't be reached Wednesday for comment. Telephones to ACORN offices in Gary, Indianapolis, Chicago and Milwaukee were reported to be disconnected.
One of the apparent problems according to Elections Board Director Sally LaSota and a county elections board technologist overseeing voter registration Ruthann Hoagland is that ACORN members took names from the phone book, filled out the forms and forged some signatures.
Curley said one registration form was filled out in the name and address of Jimmy John's, a Crown Point fast-food outlet. Another registration, dated in August, is in the name of a Gary man who died Nov. 16, 2007, according to his death certificate.
Hoagland said large numbers of voter registration forms bore signatures all in the same apparent handwriting style.
Not only are the invalid registration forms an issue at this point, but many people that should be able to legitimately vote, might not be able to because ACORN members "delivered incomplete registrations" and the election staff may not have the time to research and complete the process before the middle-of-the-month deadline.
On September 14, 2008, ACORN was in the news for problems with voter registrations from Michigan with fraudulent and duplicate voter registration applications. In that case the problem was referred to as "ACORN submitted applications are numerous applications filed in one name, described as a 'huge number,' and some with names that appear to be made up."
In August of 2008, the problem was again in Milwaukee.
As Wikipedia shows, just as a reference about previous problems over the years, ACORN members have been indicted and convicted.
# In Ohio in 2004, four ACORN employees were indicted by a federal grand jury for submitting false voter registration forms.
# In January 2005 two Colorado ACORN workers were sentenced to community service for submitting false voter registrations. ACORN's regional director said, "we find it abhorrent and do everything we can to prevent it from happening."
# On November 1, 2006, four part-time ACORN employees were indicted in Kansas City, Missouri for voter registration fraud. Prosecutors said the indictments are part of a national investigation.] ACORN said in a press release that it is in part responsible in these individuals being caught, has fired them, and has cooperated and publicly supported efforts to look into the validity of the allegations.
# ACORN was investigated in 2006 for submitting false voter registrations in St. Louis, Missouri. 1,492 fraudulent voter registrations were identified.
# In 2007, five Washington state ACORN workers were sentenced to jail time. ACORN agreed to pay King County $25 000 for its investigative costs and acknowledged that the national organization could be subject to criminal prosecution if fraud occurs again.
According to King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg, the misconduct was done "as an easy way to get paid [by ACORN], not as an attempt to influence the outcome of elections."
# In 2008, the Michigan Secretary of State office told the Detroit Free Press that ACORN had been submitting a sizeable number of duplicate and fraudulent applications to vote.
The Pittsburgh Tribune recently reported the Barack Obama campaign recently amended their Federal Election Commission report to reflect $800,000 to an offshoot of the liberal ACORN group, called Citizens Services Inc., which is a subsidiary of the ACORN group.
U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign paid more than $800,000 to an offshoot of the liberal Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now for services the Democrat's campaign says it mistakenly misrepresented in federal reports.
An Obama spokesman said Federal Election Commission reports would be amended to show Citizens Services Inc. -- a subsidiary of ACORN -- worked in "get-out-the-vote" projects, instead of activities such as polling, advance work and staging major events as stated in FEC finance reports filed during the primary.
FEC spokeswoman, Mary Brandenberger, says it is not unusual for campaigns to amend reports regarding large sums of money.
The Pittsburgh Tribune article details much more information about ACORN and Obama's prior associations as an organizer for Project Vote, an ACORN offshoot, and represented ACORN in legal actions, which was reported by various media outlets as well as the Associated Press.
The Earth Times provides the RNC fact sheet about Obama, ACORN and more examples of problems with voters registration in 2008, including locations such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada and Florida.
In the fact sheet it is found the Chief Public Advocate of the Consumers Rights League, James Terry, testified before Congress and stated "ACORN's pattern of fraud can no longer be dismissed as a series of unfortunate events."
With the presidential election less than a month away, some wonder why ACORN is allowed to participate in any way with all the legal problems they have encountered over the years and more specifically, over the last few months.