Tags: acorn | voter | fraud | probe

Pizza Worker, Others Caught Up in ACORN Probe

Thursday, 09 Oct 2008 01:01 PM

By Tim Collie

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An investigation into the community-activist group ACORN so far is stressing out the very people the organization has vowed to help: the poor and working class.

Christopher Barkley, a Domino’s Pizza worker in Cleveland, is now facing questioning by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections after his name turned up “10 to 15” times on voter rolls. He claims he was harassed by ACORN workers who were paid by the name to sign up voters.

"I kept getting approached by folks who asked me to register," Barkley told The New York Post. "They'd ask me if I was registered. I'd say yes, and they'd ask me to do it [register] again.

"Some of them were getting paid to collect names. That was their sob story, and I bought it," he said.

Barkley is one of at least three people who have been subpoenaed by the Cuyahoga board as part of a wider inquiry into possible voter fraud by ACORN in Ohio and other states. The group seeks to register low-income voters, who skew overwhelmingly Democratic.

[Read “Obama's Campaign Donations Run Afoul of Federal Rules” — Go Here Now].

Registering under a fake name is illegal, but multiple names are usually just pared down as voting officials encounter them. But the scope and scale of ACORN’s activities seem to far surpass the mistakes common in using volunteers to register voters.

“You can tell them you're registered as many times as you want -- they do not care," said Lateala Goins, 21, who was subpoenaed with Barkley. “They will follow you to the buses, they will follow you home, it does not matter.”

She added that she never put down an address on any of the registration forms, just her name.

A third subpoenaed voter, Freddie Johnson, 19, filled out registration cards 72 times over 18 months, officials said.

“It feeds the public perception that there could be [fraud], and that makes the pillars fall down,” said Board of Elections President Jeff Hastings.

Republicans in key battleground states around the country are pushing for similar investigations. They fear huge numbers of ineligible voters filing absentee ballots, and thus avoiding checks at polling places.

Officials in Nevada raided ACORN's Las Vegas office Tuesday, accusing the group of signing people up multiple times -- in some cases under phony names, including those of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys.

ACORN's Cleveland spokesman, Kris Harsh, said his group collected 100,000 voter-registration cards; only about 50 were questionable, he claimed.

As for workers, "We watch them like a hawk," he told The Post.

[Read “Obama's Campaign Donations Run Afoul of Federal Rules” — Go Here Now].

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