The raids on ACORN offices in Las Vegas and Ohio this month won’t be for naught. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is using evidence from the raids to investigate whether or not the voter-registration organization, ACORN, made a coordinated effort to commit voter registration fraud in an organized way.
A second senior law enforcement official confirmed that the FBI was looking for any evidence of a national scam, according to the Associated Press.
ACORN, which stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, admits that some workers turned in duplicate applications or provided fake information to pad their pay, but that the “vast majority” of its workers are conscientious. Workers caught submitting false information have been fired, ACORN officials say.
In the final presidential debate Wednesday, Sen. John McCain said that ACORN was on the verge of conducting “one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country.” Fox News echoes the same charges.
“We think that at the debate on Wednesday when Sen. Barack Obama was asked about it he continued to create a fog around the issue; not taking the opportunity to spell out his historic relationship with the ACORN organization,” says Rick Davis, McCain-Palin campaign manager.
McCain also sought to tie Sen. Barack Obama to ACORN, saying he gave $832,000 to an ACORN “front outfit organization.”
“We think that at the debate on Wednesday when Obama was asked about it he continued to create a fog around the issue; not taking the opportunity to spell out his historic relationship with the ACORN organization,” says Rick Davis, McCain-Palin campaign manager.
So far, this year ACORN has registered 1.3 million voters. Michael Slater, executive director of project vote, which funds ACORN and represents it in legal matters said that one percent of ACORN’s nationwide registration applications—some 13,000 forms—could contain fictitious names or addresses and as many as 25% may be duplicates, according to the Miami Herald.
“We appreciate Senator McCain’s effort to stir up the Republican base by attacking a community organization working to increase public participation in our democratic process,” says ACORN president Maude Hurd. “However, these attacks reflect an increasingly panicked candidate.”