MIAMI, Florida (CNN) – Arrest warrants were issued Wednesday for 11 Florida voter registration workers who are suspected of submitting false information on hundreds of voter registration cards, according to court documents.
The FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement were serving the warrants in Miami. Six people are already in custody, officials said.
The workers were employed by ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, to canvass neighborhoods in Florida and assist people in registering to vote ahead of the 2008 election. The problems were concentrated in the region around Homestead, Florida, south of Miami, according to an affidavit filed in the case.
Authorities allege the workers submitted false information on the cards, which were to be submitted to the Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections.
A spokesman for the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office told CNN Wednesday that the investigation was actually initiated by ACORN, after its own quality control inspectors discovered a problem with some of the voter registration cards submitted by its canvassers. ACORN then brought its findings to law enforcement.
According to the affidavit, of the 1,400 voter registration cards turned in by the workers in question, nearly 900 were determined to be fraudulent. A random sampling of 40 of the suspect cards found that at least 37 of the registrations could not be matched to a living person, the document said.
Republican groups seized on allegations of voter registration fraud by ACORN in Florida and several other states in which the group worked, claiming that its workers were trying to push the election in Barack Obama's favor.
ACORN, founded in 1970, calls itself "the nation's largest grassroots community organization of low- and moderate-income people." It says it has more than 400,000 member families organized into more than 1,200 neighborhood chapters in 110 cities.
Besides voter registration, the group focuses on issues such as predatory lending, minimum wage and funding for public schools, according to its Web site. It also provides free tax-return preparation for low-income people and screening for state and federal benefit programs.