ACORN says it worked to reveal voter registration fraud
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Officials with ACORN made the media rounds today, arguing that they took great pains to point out flawed or fraudulent voter registration forms collected by some of their employees -- forms that are now at the center of criminal charges against seven people.
"We referred them to the board of elections," said Ian J. Phillips, Pennsylvania legislative director for the group, formally known as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.
Six ACORN canvassers, along with a seventh person, were charged with various counts of voter registration fraud in connection with a 2008 registration drive ACORN said put more than 37,000 voters on the rolls in southwestern Pennsylvania in the run-up to last year's presidential election.
Five of those charged face preliminary hearings this Friday in City Court.
Canvassers were paid $8 an hour for five-hour daily shifts and several of those charged said they were motivated to file fake cards because the were required to meet a daily quota or face dismissal or not be paid.
ACORN has denied any quota -- which would be illegal under Pennsylvania election laws -- and Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. indicated that an investigation into those allegations is ongoing.
Mr. Phillips, in a meeting with the Post-Gazette today, said the suggestion of a quota is absurd and that the canvassers alleging it contradicted each other
"There was one person who said the quota was 20. There was one person who said the quota was 22. There was another said it was 25," he said.
Mr. Phillips acknowledged that ACORN supervisors set up "performance goals" but that "no one was fired expressly for not meeting that performance goal."
First Published June 2, 2009 2:50 pm