September 9th, 2009
03:09 PM ET
12 years ago

Voter registration workers sought for fraud in Florida

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.

Filed under: ACORN • Extra • Florida • President Obama
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. J.L. n MD.

    Hummmmmmmmmmm, I thought everyone knew "one can never trust a republican".

    September 9, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  2. Susan

    Someone needs to point out that voter registration fraud (ie people turning in bogus cards for a check) is far different than VOTER fraud, which ACORN had nothing to do with. I'm assuming that poeple have to show some ID to vote in Florida...hard to get a driver's license as Mickey Mouse, isn't it? Or is that how Bush beat Gore?

    September 9, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. jennifer

    ACORN is being investigated in 14 states, but you will not learn about it on CNN.

    September 9, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  4. Acorn=nuts

    This is not surprising, I am sure a lot of this went on, along with the intimidation routine.

    September 9, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. Lisa

    Mr. Acorn=nuts, you can be sure that there was hardly a lot of this going on. While I agree, ACORN is an organization that tends to trip over itself over & over while trying to do whatever it is they'd like to do...your candidate lost fair & square. Honey, move on, let it go....find something else to be angry at in life...

    September 9, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. Kat

    Acorn will use what ever means necessary to what is yours!!!

    September 9, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. Charlotte

    Most of the wingnuts who will be posting in response to this story will have missed a key point: ACORN itself brought the problem to the attention of law enforcement. ACORN is not being investigated, it turned up the irregularities and helped to identify the problem. Moreover, as Susan points out, this does not bear any relationship to how the election went, as ACORN was not involved in voting only in registrations. It may well be that none of the improper registrations was ever used at the polling booth. That's up to the Florida Election Commission to oversee, and if they weere doing their jobs then no fraudulent voting took place.

    September 9, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. harmoni

    Yes, you have to show ID to vote in Florida, and if these bogus voters had actually tried to vote you would have heard about it.

    This was a problem with some poll workers trying to get more money out of ACORN for a job they didn't do. Republicans are screaming about the election because they will never believe that the majority of voters didn't buy their smear campaigns.

    September 9, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. Fitz

    Makes no sense to point out the obvious Susan, people will believe only what the other people on TV tell them. It's all ACORN's fault even if it isn't. I mean maybe they have a bunch of fake Mickey Mouse id's out there and people used them to vote. it could happen right?

    I think I saw someone with a Chucky Cheese ID the other day. It's all ACORN's fault.

    September 9, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |