Last updated: 8:01 am
October 9, 2008
Posted: 4:31 am
October 9, 2008
CLEVELAND – Two Ohio voters, including Domino’s pizza worker Christopher Barkley , claimed yesterday that they were hounded by the community-activist group ACORN to register to vote several times, even though they made it clear they’d already signed up.
Barkley estimated he’d registered to vote “10 to 15” times after canvassers for ACORN, whose political wing has endorsed Barack Obama, relentlessly pursued him and others.
Claims such as his have sparked election officials to probe ACORN.
“I kept getting approached by folks who asked me to register,” Barkley said. “They’d ask me if I was registered. I’d say yes, and they’d ask me to do it [register] again.
“Some of them were getting paid to collect names. That was their sob story, and I bought it,” he said.
Barkley is one of at least three people who have been subpoenaed by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections as part of a wider inquiry into possible voter fraud by ACORN. The group seeks to register low-income voters, who skew overwhelmingly Democratic.
“You can tell them you’re registered as many times as you want – they do not care,” said Lateala Goins, 21, who was subpoenaed.
“They will follow you to the buses, they will follow you home, it does not matter,” she told The Post.
She added that she never put down an address on any of the registration forms, just her name.
A third subpoenaed voter, Freddie Johnson, 19, filled out registration cards 72 times over 18 months, officials said.
“It feeds the public perception that there could be [fraud], and that makes the pillars fall down,” said local Board of Elections President Jeff Hastings.
Registering under a fake name is illegal. But officials usually catch multiple registrations and toss them.
The major risk of fraud growing out of mass canvassing involves the possibility of ineligible voters filing absentee ballots, and thus avoiding checks at polling places, said Republican National Committee chief counsel Sean Cairncross.
The subpoenas come as Republicans have ramped up criticism of ACORN. Officials in Nevada raided ACORN’s Las Vegas office Tuesday, accusing the group of signing people up multiple times – in some cases under phony names, like those of Dallas Cowboys.
ACORN’s Cleveland spokesman, Kris Harsh, said his group collected 100,000 voter-registration cards; only about 50 were questionable, he claimed.
As for workers, “We watch them like a hawk,” he said.