Tuesday, October 14, 2008

ICYMI: ACORN under investigation again in NC

State reviewing ACORN voter forms

By Lynn Bonner
The News & Observer
October 14, 2008

The State Board of Elections is investigating suspicious voter registration forms submitted by an organization whose problems have drawn national attention.

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, known as ACORN, conducted a voter drive that registered nearly 28,000 people in North Carolina. But some of the forms it filed had information that may have been copied from phone books, local election officials said.

Durham County's elections office turned over about 120 suspect forms to the state for investigation about three weeks ago, and Wake County's elections office sent in about 30 suspicious forms last week. ...

The office received information about the Wake forms Friday, Bartlett said, but no other local elections official has alerted the state office to ACORN-related problems. The head of elections in Mecklenburg said that county did not have problems with ACORN forms. ...

He said he expected the board's investigator to refer the Durham case to the local district attorney for prosecution.

ACORN is a community organizing group that runs issue campaigns and was active a few years ago in ballot initiatives to raise the minimum wage. It pays workers to register voters. ...

ACORN must return to the local elections boards the forms its workers submit, even the questionable ones. ACORN separates forms with potential problems from the rest and notifies election officials about them, McCoy said. ...

After McCoy and officials from ACORN's national office met with Mike Ashe, the Durham elections director, ACORN retrained staff and developed a system to trace problems.
"A lot of ACORN people just filled out the same name multiple times," so they would be paid, Ashe said, and "one or two were getting information from the phone book."