updated 4:41 Chicago time with McCain campaign react
WASHINGTON--In 1992, Barack Obama worked for Project Vote for about seven months; now Project Vote and ACORN--a coalition of community organizations serving low income families--just wrapped up a voter registration drive targeting battleground states Obama needs to win the White House.
Though officially non-partisan, the focus of the ACORN/Project Vote voter drive was on groups leaning Democratic in the presidential contest: African American, young, Latino and low income earners. They are called "historically underrepresented in elections" in a press release issued by the group on Monday. Republicans would call these target groups Democrats.
ACORN/Project Vote ran voter registration operations in 21 states; included are the battlegrounds Colorado, Florida, Michigan (since move to Obama) Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
McCain campaign spokesman Ben Porritt released this statement after this item was posted.
"ACORN is one of the largest radical organizations in America that represents another questionable association of Barack Obama's. Obama's campaign has been endorsed by ACORN's political action committee and their sister corporation received nearly $1 million from Obama's campaign which they originally misrepresented on their FEC report. ACORN masquerades their efforts as good yet the endless examples of voter fraud and wrongdoing makes clear that their true mission is to poison the political process. ACORN's efforts are reminiscent of the sleazy Chicago politics that Barack Obama embraces."
Acorn press release......
ABOUT ACORN'S VOTER REGISTRATION PROGRAM
ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) is the largest grassroots community organization in the United States, comprised of over 450,000 member families organized into 1000+ neighborhood chapters in over 100 cities across the country. The mission of ACORN is to empower low and moderate-income people by building effective and solidly rooted organizations capable of winning concrete improvements for low-income communities.
ACORN's non-partisan voter registration program is about empowering local low- and moderate-income people by bringing them into the democratic process, ensuring that they have a say in the issues that affect them most.
Voter Registration Program Overivew
In 2004 ACORN helped over 1.1 million people register to vote.
In 2006 ACORN helped over 547,000 people register to vote (a record for an off-year election cycle). In 2006 ACORN was the largest single 3rd party registrant of young people under the age of 30.
In 2007-2008 ACORN has already helped register over 1.27 million people nationwide.
The majority of ACORN registrants are low-income, about 75% are African-American, 25% are Latino and 50% are under 30 years old.
Voter Registration Quality Control
· ACORN employs the most sophisticated quality-control system in the business.
· Every single application collected is examined by independent quality control staff for completeness, and tagged and bundled to associate it with the crew member who gathered it. Registrations are entered into a database by an outside vendor, and locally-based call centers make several attempts to call each registrant to verify information.
· In most states, ACORN is required to turn in ALL cards, even if the cards have been identified by ACORN as problematic, incomplete, or duplicates. ACORN's quality control system routinely flags incomplete or potentially problematic applications for boards of election. These cards are submitted separate from others, with "Problem Card" cover sheets, and are tagged to the worker who collected them.
About Allegations Against Acorn
· In a few cases ACORN has caught part-time workers falsifying cards in an attempt to get paid for doing work they didn't do. When this happens, ACORN fires the workers involved, alerts election officials and law enforcement about the problem, and cooperates fully and enthusiastically with investigations and persecutions.
· Such cases constitute employee fraud, not election fraud.
· Nearly all of the former ACORN workers who have ever been investigated or convicted were uncovered and turned-in by ACORN itself.
2007-2008 VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE
GOALS AND SUCCESS TO DATE
as of 9/28/08