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July 26, 2007

Settlement in phony voter registration case

Posted by David Postman at 11:59 AM

A liberal group whose workers submitted fraudulent voter registration forms has agreed to a legal settlement with King County that says if the problem is repeated in the future the group could face criminal prosecution.

Keith Ervin has a story here that says people working for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, admitted to filling out registration forms with names they took out of phone books while sitting in the Seattle Public Library. The phony names were purged this morning by the King County Canvassing Board.

But ACORN has also agreed to a lengthy agreement with King County about how it will work to avoid allowing any fraudulent signatures in any future voter registration drives. ACORN has agreed to a series of safeguards to monitor signature drives and to alert officials to any suspect registrations. The organization will also pay $25,000 to King County by Aug. 10 to reimburse for costs of the investigation.

The agreement governs ACORN's activities until 2013 and covers training, oversight, management issues, quality control, how to handle suspect registrations. The agreement says:

a. ACORN agrees that submission of registrations that have been fraudulently collected by an ACORN employee and not reviewed pursuant to the quality control procedures, or willfully turning in fraudulent cards, may constitute grounds for criminal prosecution of ACORN as a corporate entity unless such cards have been segregated by ACORN pursuant to the requirements of section 7 of this agreement.

b. ACORN agrees that violations of the terms of this agreement may be used as evidence in the State of Washington in future criminal prosecutions against ACORN employees, ACORN management, or ACORN as a corporate entity.

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