NOVEMBER 6, 2006
5:15 AM

Kevin Whelan, 985-960-1108

ACORN Applauds FBI Investigation Of Individuals Connected To Possible Miscondcut In K.C. Voter Registration Drive

KANSAS CITY, Missouri - November 6 - Leaders of the community group ACORN today applauded the FBI for the steps it is taking to investigate individuals suspected in several cases of possible voter registration fraud that the group reported to authorities during a recent ACORN voter registration drive in the Kansas City area.

The individuals under investigation were temporary workers, hired--and later fired-by Kansas City ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) to help in its large- scale voter registration drive, which helps thousands of Kansas City residents register to vote.

ACORN took the initiative on October 11 to contact the Kansas City Board of Elections and the Jackson County Prosecutor when the organization's standard review process identified suspicious voter registration applications. ACORN provided to the Board and the prosecutor a letter with the name and contact information of the former employees who had collected the suspicious application. ACORN then facilitated the subsequent FBI inquiry by providing internal records documenting ACORN's suspicion and other information as requested.. ACORN will continue to provide its full support and cooperation in the investigation.

"When we caught this misconduct, we reporter it to the authorities. Now we want to see these folks prosecuted to the full extent of the law, because they have defrauded our organization, and, worse, detracted from our mission of ensuring that citizens in our community participate in the democratic process," said Claudia Harris, Chairperson of Kansas City ACORN.

"Like the FBI, ACORN considers any interference in the voting process to be a very serious matter," Harris continued. "Across the state our attorneys today reached a settlement with the St. Louis Board of Elections to issue a retraction of the intimidating letter they sent out to thousands of voters we registered. Vigilance is needed to make sure that Scott Leindecker's St. Louis Board of Elections does not engage in any other dirty tricks to suppress the African American vote."

ACORN's voter registration drives are committed to one objective: Registration of eligible low-income and minority citizens who wish to vote and have their votes counted. In the past year, ACORN has helped tens of thousands of Missouri residents register to vote. As part of ACORN's voter registration program, ACORN has a comprehensive quality control that reviews all application for completeness and accuracy and calls applicants to verify their information. It was this process that identified the individuals who were referred to the Board and Prosecutors.