Jennifer Lebovich, Miami Herald, September 9, 2009
Eleven people hired to register potential voters in Miami-Dade County before last year’s presidential election were being sought Wednesday for falsifying hundreds of voter registration cards.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office issued arrest warrants for each of the 11 suspects, all of whom worked for the local chapter of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, (ACORN).
By early Wednesday morning, six were in custody, authorities said.
ACORN came under fire during last year’s presidential campaign when Republicans and other conservative groups accused the national organization of committing fraud in its aggressive voter registration efforts in various cities and counties nationwide, including Florida.
But ACORN officials said they had alerted authorities about the alleged illegal activity among some canvassers in Miami-Dade after finding “numerous discrepancies” on voter cards collected from the Homestead area.
The arrests are “further evidence we’ve been policing our own folks and report people attempting to commit voter registration fraud,” said ACORN spokesman Brian Kettenring. “This was really some individuals who were trying to defraud their employer.”
The workers, who were paid between $8 and $10 an hour, registered names of nonexistent people–in one case, Paul Newman and James Taylor appeared on cards–or simply filled out several cards for the same real voter, authorities said.