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. just me

    Tainopower...what does your comment have to do with the article. You are just spewing the same script that many republicans have been using. Any original thoughts on your part?

    October 31, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. Peggy - TX

    Sure vote agaist your self interest. If You want the facts on Obama's tax plan, so to his web site. It has never changed; It stands at $250K and every comment on the subject is technical consistent with what is on his WEB site.

    The Republicans bank on the stupidity of the American people and you are eating it up.

    October 31, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  3. Dawn

    Tainopower, are you a billionaire? Well that is when you will get a tax break....LOL


    October 31, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  4. Winnie Hussein . . . in Montana

    I know that the Republicans do not care about individual or local government finances. They really do just care about the largest, multi-national corporations and their fat-cat CEOs. But these lawsuits the GOP keeps lodging, which may get duplicate or fraudulent REGISTRATIONS thrown out, may also get legitimate registrations thrown out (the GOP's ultimate goal) and thus prevent voters from exercising their right to choose our next President. In addition, this is costing ACORN, the community groups who fund them, and the counties/states/towns a lot of money and time in court costs and legal fees. Give it up GOP, try to do something honest in the short time you have left!

    October 31, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  5. karen-phoenix

    I've been a regostered republican for over 40 years and live in AZ. This year it is Obama/Biden!!! Besides McCain's age and his choice of Palin being a very poor judgement call, I have been receiveing robo calls from the rep party for the last 2 days. Disgusting, viel messages!!! The republicans have become the party of only the skinheads, radical right wingers and ultra rich lobbiests. We so desperately need a change in Washington!!! A BIG Change and the republican party really needs to take a look at itself!!! It has become shameful and disgusting!!!
    God Bless Obama/Biden

    October 31, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  6. ANGIE

    Republicans lie lie and more lie cant those people ever be Honest ? What a Shame the Republican party has become no wonder so many of them are leaving the party

    October 31, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  7. Matt

    @ "Blue in Red AZ"

    They already have moved to the next plan. The Department of Justice will be monitoring voting centers in key swing states in an effort to get rid of Dem votes.

    October 31, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. Tiff of lithia springs

    Are there laws on the books for false registration or just voter fraud?

    October 31, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. young and informed independant

    i am so sick of these republicans trying to set precendent.
    thank good ness for smart judges and our rights!!!

    October 31, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. Chuck

    Hey, Tainopower.

    I've read your past comments, and you certainly fall in the category as a low-information idiot who is allowed to vote. How sad!

    October 31, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  11. Leigh

    Why is it every time Republicans are thwarted in their attempt to shut down votes they claim the investigation somehow vindicates them somewhere in the fine print? What a bunch of whackos 1

    October 31, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. Flo

    WOW! I feel like Obama has been vindicated. For weeks FOX news and others have been hammering daily that Obama and ACORN is commiting voter fraud eventhough no one (Mickey Mouse) has voted. They should be more then disappointed; they should be ASHAMED for trying to scam the American people.


    October 31, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. Mike

    This is just a taste of what life will be like under Obama, Pelosi, and Reid in the Socialist Republic of America. Goodbye to freedom and hello to government control of everyday life and what you have we will TAX.

    October 31, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. AK

    Pennslyvanians please get out and VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE

    October 31, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  15. Paul

    Just like other Third World countries- votes only count if you vote for who you are told to vote for!

    October 31, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  16. Darrel from Denver

    Power will not release its grip without a fight. The Republicans are all about themselves and less about America. Always have been during my 54 years. How could I have been so stupid to have supported them since 1972.

    That changed this year. My vote has been cast for Obama/Biden 08.

    October 31, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. John S

    TAINOPOWER, Give it up. Its over. Don't you get it. The republican party is history and so is McCain and Palin. McCain just doesn't have what it takes to be a president and for dang sure, Palin isn't even closely qualifies to even be a Lemonaide Stand manager let alone the VP of the USA. The day he announced her as his VP pick, I was laughing so loud I woke up my wife and that says something.

    October 31, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  18. Barrie

    Sorry, Republicans. Your manipulation tactics are not working.

    Please just be righteous and rely solely on your candidates platforms...oopss....you probably need to think of some more tactics!

    October 31, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  19. Commonwealth of Virginia

    Now what's next for the GOP? I'm sure they have alot of shady tricks up their sleeves. Sorry, it won't work though losers. You latte sipping right wingers better update your resume because you guys are getting voted out.


    October 31, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  20. Scott NYC Independent

    This time our democratic leaders are urging us to fight back against the republican voter surpression tactics I'm sure McCain was relying on. Come Sunday morning he will find the only option left for him and his corrupt republican party are law suits and democratic lawyers are lining up to go to the battle field.


    October 31, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  21. bababear

    an ACORN falls and all the republican chickens are crying the sky is falling so they can sell umbrellas.

    October 31, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  22. Republicans are criminals

    Looks like justice just lost another state for the McCain camp. Wait to go justice!

    October 31, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  23. Bob Indianapolis IN

    Reptilicans LOSE again!

    October 31, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  24. No2RepubGimmicks

    Nice try TAINOPOWER.... did you pick up that argument from a McCain/Palin rally?

    If you really are silly enough to vote for a 72 year old man who has been in Washington for 26 years and supported the current Bush economic policy and plans to continue it... well, you get what you deserve.

    I have an idea... how about all these McCain supporters who bash Obama and his tax plan go ahead and sign a waiver now that states 'I opt out of benefiting from Obama's tax plan, because I don't like Obama or the plan and I think he will raise taxes, because McCain/Palin said so'.

    October 31, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  25. Scott NYC Independent

    Peggy the fact is regardless of the amount you don't have $250,000 or $200,000 or even $100,000. So when McCain lies and says Obama wants to spread your wealth around the fact is you don't have any wealth to spread. He's talking about Obama spreading his and Cindy McCain's wealth around. That's what he's fighting for – what are you fighting for?

    October 31, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
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