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. Erik

    Looks like the republicans are trying their best to rig this election

    October 31, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. Matt

    Don't worry, Bush has mobilized the Dept of Justice to cull the vote. These nutty accusations were all just an effort to justify sending DOJ neocons to voting centers to kick black people out for not putting their middle initial on their voter registration or accidentally typing the wrong apartment number. The cheaters are counting on a November Suprise this time.

    October 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. Irony

    Finally, cheating to win has become a problem for the Republicans. Perhaps someday, true conservatives will take their party back from the liars.

    October 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. Greg Rodgers

    GOP is going down in flames. The group is going out and is still trying these ill advised tactics.

    GOP, the people will not stand for this anymore.

    You will not kill the voice of the people.

    You will now lose in disgrace.

    By McCain....hello OBAMA!!

    October 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  5. AmericadowntheDrainMcCain

    Well done. Enough with the voter suppression Attempts by these Repugnicans. Enough with these stole elections. It's so ironic that these repugs like to point fingers at leaders like Robert Mugabe for trying to steal elections yet they are no better..no different

    October 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    The old white wealthy men never wanted women or blacks to be able to vote.

    TOO BAD old white wealthy guys !!


    October 31, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  7. voter

    well said. ACORN is smoke and mirrors to deter people from not focusing on republicans trying to disenfranchise and supress the vote. not going to work this time.

    October 31, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |

    wAHH wAHH!! Elite Liberal Media wAHH wAHH wAHH!! ACORN/Poor people voting fraud wAHH wAHH wAHH!! Obama break promise, too much money wAHH wAHH wAHH!! He no do Townhall meetings wAHH wAHH wAHH!! Obama media are sexist wAHH wAHH wAHH!! BillAyers/Jerimiah Wright wAHH wAHH wAHH!! You pick on Joe the Plumber wAHH wAHH wAHH!!!

    October 31, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. Stef

    This is what I'm talking about, justice after all, The ones who are trying to disinfrancise voters should be locked up. Everything the Repulicans are trying to do seems to blow up in their faces. No, not this time.

    October 31, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  10. wakeupamerica

    Goodie goodie. More bad news for liars McGimmick and Mincemeat Sarah. 🙂

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 31, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  11. joey from nc

    This is exactly why the republicans should not have insulted community organizers. Serves them right for being so rude.

    Obama 08. YES WE CAN!

    I am one of the young voters that is procrastinating, but don't worry, i will make it to the polls on nov 4th.

    October 31, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  12. Susan, Macedon New York

    Republicans are such hypocrites! First they steal the election in 2000, then they vote for the legislation that requires photo ID to vote, knowing full well that a lot of poor people (most Democrats) who don't have driver's licenses will be discouraged from voting. Now they're claiming ACORN and the Democrats are cheating?

    Give me a freaking break. In the first place, ACORN has been totally upfront about the problems with some earlier registration forms. There are crooks in every endeavor – the Republicans have had more than their share.

    The GOP is just planning on their next move once McCain loses. They plan to challenge the election results and say the vote was rigged. Next stop: the Supreme Court!

    October 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  13. sabuc for Obama

    ACORN may have issues with the way they acquire new registered voters, but they are following the law where all registration forms (even the Mickey Mouse ones) are required to be submitted to a third party for verification. If there is registration fraud it will be with the third party that approves the registrations not ACORN. Besides, Voter fraud would only occur during the voting phase and there are supposed to be Federal checks, balances, and laws that are responsible to verify the voter is valid.

    I think that the GOP presumes that the people registration by ACORN would not vote for McCain so they are doing whatever they can to make these registration invalid.

    Shamefull really, considering that only a small fraction of the population actually votes in these elections.

    October 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  14. mnc

    Doesn't it make anyone else nearvous how the republicans keep trying to keep the people from voting, or having there votes count. Why do they keep trying to supress the vote? I can't wait for this election to be over with, and Obama wins. I don't trust the GOP they have shown they will do whatever it takes to win (at all costs) its scary.

    October 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  15. turn az blue

    vote for mccain then... you deserve all the pain you are going to get if he wins!

    October 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  16. Bill Charlotte,NC

    Is there a state where Republicans are not trying to keep people from voting?

    October 31, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  17. voter


    you will not have to worry about paying taxes because you won't have a job or a home if you vote for McCain.

    October 31, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  18. Nimi from NY

    Do the Republicans even know when to quit? They have challeneged ACORN's registrarion almost in every state and have been denied. They just can't quit until they find ways to steal this election.

    October 31, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  19. Victoria in LA


    October 31, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  20. Lydia

    McCain and Palin are not good for America. They are mean, evil, and devisive. They bring out the worst in people instead of appealing to what is good in all of us.

    Fortunately for America, it appears the GOP will not be able to steal the election this year.

    October 31, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  21. Blue in Red AZ

    Nice try Republi-Rats!...... move on to your next plan of attack and intimidation.......

    October 31, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  22. tulsa

    Wow, how 'bout that. An independent Judiciary.
    I agree that ACORN needs to do a much better job of hiring and training, but since they, BY LAW, have to submit every regestration form turned in, it would be voter suppression if they weeded out the bad forms.
    People caught should be prosecuted for regestration fraud.
    People caught intimidating voters need to be prosecuted too.
    Let's let the PEOPLE decide this election.

    October 31, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  23. Matt

    They just wanted the lists so they could retaliate against registered Dems.

    October 31, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  24. hurriCAIN PALIN

    so every fictional character is able to vote for nobama now?

    October 31, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  25. tulsa

    TAINOPOWER October 31st, 2008 4:26 pm ET

    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.
    Read Obama's tax plan stupid.

    October 31, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
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