Pierce County to pull 230 names off voter list

This is an interesting story from Washington State.

Pierce County is slated to strike 230 names from its voter rolls this week as it wraps up an investigation of voter-registration fraud.

The investigation centered on registrations submitted by employees of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, a national advocacy group for low-income people. ACORN workers submitted more than 1,800 registration forms in King County and about 1,400 in Pierce County in fall 2006.

Last summer, King County prosecutors charged seven ACORN employees with submitting false information on voter-registration cards. Five of the seven have since pleaded guilty. Two ACORN employees admitted falsifying registrations in Pierce County. Pierce County Auditor Pat McCarthy said her staff became suspicious when they noticed a large number of the registrations came from voters who supposedly lived at the Tacoma Rescue Mission, a group that provides food, shelter and other services to the homeless.

Prosecutors believe ACORN workers were not scheming to permit illegal voting, but rather trying to get paid for work they didn’t do. ACORN workers, who earned $8 an hour, flipped through phone books or made names up when they fell short of quotas they were supposed to meet, said Allen Rose, a Pierce County deputy prosecutor. In a few cases, the workers appeared to have used the names of celebrities. Pierce County received registrations for “Veronica Mars,” a character in the television series of the same name, and “Pat Tillman,” a football player who left the NFL to become an Army Ranger and died in Afghanistan in 2004.

No ballots from the fraudulent registrations were cast.