FBI Investigates ACORN - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

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.”

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, SocialWayne.com chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining BlackEnterprise.com as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and BlackEnterprise.com helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.

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