NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


October 14, 2008

Acorn -- the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now -- has been around since 1970 and boasts 350,000 members.  Acorn is now getting more attention as John McCain's campaign makes an issue of the fraud reports and Acorn's ties to Barack Obama.  It's about time someone exposed this shady outfit that uses government dollars to lobby for larger government, says the Wall Street Journal.

Acorn is spending $16 million this year to register new Democrats and is already boasting it has put 1.3 million new voters on the rolls.  The big question is how many of these registrations are real?

  • The Michigan Secretary of State told the press in September that Acorn had submitted "a sizeable number of duplicate and fraudulent applications."
  • Earlier this month, Nevada's Democratic Secretary of State Ross Miller requested a raid on Acorn's offices, following complaints of false names and fictional addresses (including the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys).
  • Nevada's Clark County Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax said he saw rampant fraud in 2,000 to 3,000 applications Acorn submitted weekly.
  • Officials in Ohio are investigating voter fraud connected with Acorn, and Florida's Seminole County is withholding Acorn registrations that appear fraudulent.
  • New Mexico, North Carolina and Missouri are looking into hundreds of dubious Acorn registrations.


  • Wisconsin is investigating Acorn employees for, according to an election official, "making people up or registering people that were still in prison."
  • Then there's Lake County, Indiana, which has already found more than 2,100 bogus applications among the 5,000 Acorn dumped right before the deadline; "All the signatures looked exactly the same," said Ruthann Hoagland, of the county election board.
  • Bridgeport, Connecticut estimates about 20 percent of Acorn's registrations were faulty.
  • As of July, the city of Houston had rejected or put on hold about 40 percent of the 27,000 registration cards submitted by Acorn.

The Justice Department needs to treat these fraud reports as something larger than a few local violators.  The question is whether Acorn is systematically subverting U.S. election law -- on the taxpayer's dime, says the Journal.

Source:  Editorial, "Obama and Acorn; Community organizers, phony voters, and your tax dollars," October 14, 2008.

For text:


Browse more articles on Government Issues