Election 2008


New Voter Fraud Allegations Hit Ohio

October 20, 2008 11:46 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
The battleground state of Ohio remains in the voter fraud spotlight as another registration organization, Vote from Home, is accused of misconduct.

Vote from Home Program Joins ACORN in Hot Seat

Vote from Home, a program that supports voter registration and absentee voting has come under scrutiny after a number of names were traced back to a single home in Ohio, whose owner lives in New York.

An investigation by a local prosecutor was launched after it was found that the home, located in Columbus, Ohio, hosted the registrations of 13 out-of-state voters, including four who live in New York but had registered in Ohio after staying in the home for 30 days.

The voters, tied to a voter registration effort called Vote from Home, cast their votes in the state, which offers early voting up to 29 days before Election Day. The organization was created to take advantage of a change to Ohio voting law that allows Ohio residents to cast absentee or early votes without an official explanation.

Questions arose after a report by a college news service focused on the Vote from Home program.

The group asserts that it has done nothing wrong and all adheres to the state’s residency laws. However, local county prosecutor Ron O’Brien has reportedly said he will continue to investigate Vote from Home’s behavior.

Background: ACORN under fire

The New York-based organization joins ACORN, which is also under investigation in Ohio, where the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections is conducting an inquiry into the group’s alleged submission of fraudulent voter registration cards. According to Cleveland paper Plain Dealer, “the group has faced similar inquiries in other large Ohio counties.”

In Cuyahoga County, where Cleveland is located, “election workers flagged about 50 names on suspicious cards. The cards were to register the same names, raising the possibility that canvassers shared information when trying to make quotas,” the Plain Dealer reported.

The newspaper said the group’s head organizer, Kris Harsh, said the group couldn’t be expected to catch everything. “None of us have ever achieved perfection,” he was quoted as telling the board.

Opinion & Analysis: Fraudulent or victim of smears?

Atlantic Monthly's Marc Ambinder gives an overview of the ACORN controversy. Among the complaints the GOP has lodged, “Republicans point to charges, many validated, of ACORN’s turning in hundreds, if not thousands, of fraudulent registrations in at least a dozen states and employing felons in states where it’s illegal to do so for voter registration purposes,” he wrote.

The group’s defenders, he says, “insist they’re non-partisan, say that the group simply wants to make sure that as many eligible voters as possible vote and contend that critics are motivated by their partisanship, and possibly by their antipathy toward poor people and black people.”

Jason Leopold of the Public Record said Republicans have targeted ACORN for some time, and that some believe voter disenfranchisement is the goal.

“No concrete evidence of systemic voter fraud in the United States has ever surfaced. Many election integrity experts believe claims of voter fraud are a ploy by Republicans to suppress minorities and poor people from voting,” Leopold wrote. “Raising red flags about the integrity of the ballots, experts believe, is an attempt by GOP operatives to swing elections to their candidates as well as an attempt to use the fear of criminal prosecution to discourage individuals from voting in future races.”

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