October 31st, 2008
03:45 PM ET
14 years ago

PA GOP loses challenge over alleged voter registration fraud

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A Pennsylvania judge rejected state Republican party demands to obtain lists of voters registered by the community group known as ACORN.

The state GOP accuses ACORN of widespread fraud in helping register some 140,000 voters in Pennsylvania.

ACORN welcomed the ruling against the Pennsylvania state Republican party, spokeswoman Ali Kronley told CNN Friday, turning the GOP charges back against the party.

"This kind of manufactured crisis is masking their own efforts to keep voters from voting," she said.

The top lawyer representing the Pennsylvania Republicans said they were "disappointed."

But, Heather Heidelbaugh added, the wording of the court order indicates the judge thinks ACORN has problems.

The judge said he would favor "expedited discovery" should someone want to pursue "evidence that in Pennsylvania practices of ACORN Outreach Workers can encourage duplicate voter registration."

The case hinges on allegations that ACORN canvassers are not trained properly, leading to improper voter registrations.

Anita Moncreif, a former ACORN worker, testified Wednesday, describing what she considered a pattern of inadequate training of canvassers, who then were left to face prosecution for bogus registrations.

Moncreif once worked at ACORN's national offices in Washington, DC, but on cross-examination, she acknowledged she had no direct knowledge of ACORN's activities in Pennsylvania.

The judge, Robert Simpson, said the Pennsylvania Republicans failed to convince him of the need for a preliminary injunction that would have required immediate action in the final days before the election.

A top state elections official was critical of the GOP's lawsuit, and issued a statement applauding the judge for refusing to step in.

"The claims were a frivolous attempt to undermine voter confidence in the upcoming election," wrote Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Cortis, who was appointed by Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell.

Pennsylvania officials dispute whether the court should be involved.

State elections attorney Albert Masland told CNN during a break in the hearing Wednesday that "there have been a couple of district attorneys in the Commonwealth who have filed charges against people for fraud. That shows the system is working."

"Beyond that," he added, "I think this is really more sound and fury and a whole lot less substance."

ACORN stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. Arod

    Pennsylvania stays blue!!

    October 31, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. ken

    I live in New York does this mean I can still vote in Pennsylvania or Ohio

    October 31, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  3. Elizabeth - Texas - Former Republican

    Quick call Joe "the plumber", McCain's campaign just went down the toilet.

    October 31, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  4. Kevin

    They do have problems, but Jim Crow is over there will be no Tolerance of Voter Supression by any party Demcratic or Replublican.

    October 31, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  5. MD, TX

    The fix is in. Fraud on a national level beginning with the media. We will never be able to trust the media again, except for the National Inquirer (who was the only paper to break real stories in this election cycle).

    October 31, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. Kevin

    I meant Democratic or Republican

    October 31, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. Pat Pa.

    Good !
    Who in the hell cares who is registered. It is when they show up to vote that really matters. If I see Mickey Mouse in line in front of me I'll grab him by the tail and stop him.

    October 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    Now get to the polls and vote.

    October 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    Another loss for the Republicans! The Republicans have tried everything to purge names, prevent people from voting. Everyday there is another lawsuit! Thank GOD that the courts are still for JUSTICE!

    FYI Republicans: Americans reject your vile politics! You,folks, need to rethink your stance, your anything-goes-campaigns!

    From the Cold War through today Republicans are still trying to SCARE America into voting for them!

    SURPRISE......SURPRISE We, the People, are fed up!

    October 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Again, the Republicans have been defeated in their attempt at voter suppression. It may have guaranteed them victory in the past, but, not this time. They are being slammed in their every attampt to violate our voter rights laws.

    Not this time. Repugs!

    October 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  11. don

    Seems to me that the mud slinging is past it prime. This kind to thing happens in junior high elections. Everyone should have the right to vote, except for mickey mouse and bullwinkle! But seriously, Everyone should have the right to vote, and vote once. Why are we trying to take away the rights of US citizens? Its time to stand up , make your vote count,and make a difference. No matter your choice, VOTE!!!!! No whining, or weeping because your guy doest win, if you dont vote.

    October 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. mume


    October 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. Pete

    I will help them at the polls. The minute Mickey Mouse shows up to
    vote, me and a couple of buddies will immediately wrestle him to the
    ground and hold him until the authorities are alerted.

    Does that make the Republicans feel any better?

    Democrats 08.

    October 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Not this time, Repugs!

    October 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  15. Sammy

    Sounds like the judicial system does not in any way want to get involved in even an appearance of denying people the right to vote considering 2000.

    October 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. Tim

    The system works to guard against such silly charges. How about the person who registered voters for McCain that was convicted???? That is the second person from a company that McCain campaigned used that was convicted. Why do you think the McCain campaign wants the spotlight on ACORN when they are the ones with dirt on their hands?

    October 31, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  17. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    Typical – GOP will try anything and everything to steal another election.

    Want to see another "tea party"? Just let them steal this one. We'll ALL rebel. It won't be pretty.

    Voted early for Obama/Biden

    October 31, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |

    This is what is going to happens in the united states of obama. Reporters cast away , tv stations order to turn off, web pages remove. we might have only one tv channel the obama channel.? His past actions let me believe that this country is going to be turn to a socialist system against our will.

    October 31, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. Bea

    I don't understand this whole thing – while living in the Us – I had a resident address – I have a drivers license – they (?) issued me a voters registration – it was checked against a list at the precinct I was to vote and that I did. What is so hard to do that?
    Regardless – I think that Ms. Palin did a lot of harm the Sen. McCain. He should have gotten a VP nomination who knows what is going on and did not have to read and not understanding what she was reading. Tell her and TODD to go home if they still want her in Alaska.

    October 31, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. Ben - Portland, Or

    Once again, I'll mention the voter fraud here in Oregon in 2004. In that case, the Republicans were paying people to register voters and then tossing all the Democratic registrations out. Blatant attempt to undermine the process. This year's Acorn thing is just a bunch of slackers abusing a system.

    October 31, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. mouli

    GOP is fraud. They can look inward into their party and on what platform and core message the GOP candidates are building upon. It is a shame. They don't need to go to a court of law. It is rather ironic that a party that proclaims morality and ethics has neither of it, but shamelessly invokes God on every opportunity.

    GOP is a party even God can not save. But sometimes, the men and women who adorn the court have to dispose them.

    October 31, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |

    Obama tax plan ? From 250,000 to 200,000 Biden say 150,000 and now the New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson say 120,000? and obama is not in power yet . Wen he does don’t know how low will it go? Maybe under 42,000. Well at least the people that don’t pay taxes are going to be happy. I will do my best to keep my taxes low .I will vote for McCain.

    October 31, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. Carlos

    My understanding is that Acorn empl;yees in the field are compensated according to the number of registratioins they obtain. That Someone hasn't recognised the potential for abuse is alarming.

    October 31, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  24. Dallas, TX

    That is voter fraud and everyone knows it; amazing that people just want to look the other way.

    Sad day in America!

    October 31, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  25. Chuck

    The Republicans have again been defeated in their repeated attempts to violate the voter rights laws.

    Never, never again, Repugs!

    October 31, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
1 2 3 4