ACORN hauled into swing-state courtroom

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Union-backed group makes 2008 the most fraudulent presidential election in U.S. history

Pennsylvania's Republican Party sued the state's top election official and the community activist group ACORN, accusing the group of fostering voter registration fraud and asserting that the election system lacks adequate safeguards to stop it.

The lawsuit filed Friday asks the state Commonwealth Court to order ACORN and its affiliates to provide lists identifying all the voters it registered and to finance public-service announcements to remind first-time voters that they must present identification at the polls.

"The stakes in this action are enormously high: Unless this court acts quickly and decisively, the right to Pennsylvania's 21 electoral votes may be determined by illegal ballots," the lawsuit said.

The GOP lawsuit also asks the court to order Secretary of State Pedro Cortes to ensure that local polling places have extra provisional ballots for prospective voters whose registrations are not processed by the Nov. 4 election. And it suggests — but does not ask the court to order — that Cortes halt processing of registration applications collected by ACORN and require those people to cast provisional ballots.

Provisional ballots are paper ballots that are cast by voters whose eligibility cannot immediately be verified. They are set aside, reviewed after the election and, if the voters' credential are confirmed, added to the Election Day totals.

GOP officials handed out copies of the lawsuit at a Harrisburg news conference, but it was not filed in state Commonwealth Court until more than three hours later — a fact that a spokesman for Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell said showed that it is politically motivated.

"It certainly tells me that this is far more of an effort to influence public opinion than it is to protect the integrity of the electoral process, which they know to be secure," Ardo said.

ACORN is required by law to turn in any voter registration application that it receives, but the group screens the forms and is careful to flag questionable ones so that county election officials can scrutinize them, Pennsylvania ACORN leader Ali Kronley told a Capitol news conference.

The group, whose full name is the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, has helped 140,000 Pennsylvanians register to vote, Kronley said.

In Pittsburgh, the Allegheny County district attorney's office is investigating possible voter-registration fraud involving fewer than 100 applications collected by ACORN. The group's work is also being scrutinized by authorities in several other states and nationally by the FBI.

ACORN, whose mission is to help low-income citizens organize politically, claims to have registered about 1.3 million voters nationally this year.


No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails