ACORN& Fraudulent Voter Registrations:
A Concerned Citizen’s Guide to Helping
Ensure the Integrity of Elections
A White Paper Prepared by Asheesh Agarwal*
For the Republican National Lawyers Association
February 26, 2009
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ACORN& Fraudulent Voter Registrations: A Concerned Citizens’ Guide to
Helping Ensure the Integrity of Elections
“Confidence in the integrity of our electoral processes is
essential to the functioning of our participatory democracy.
Voter fraud drives honest citizens out of the democratic
process and breeds distrust of our government. Voters who
fear their legitimate votes will be outweighed by fraudulent
ones will feel disenfranchised.”1
If past is prologue, concerned citizens should worry about ACORN’s effect on
election integrity. During the 2008 cycle, ACORN and its affiliates engaged in a
nationwide effort to submit 1.3 million registration applications, up to 400,000 of which
were fraudulent, duplicate, or incomplete.2 These applications often overwhelmed local
election officials and appear to have allowed ineligible voters to cast ballots. In Ohio, for
example, one voter admitted that he cast an absentee ballot using a bogus registration,
and in Florida, “Mickey Mouse” tried to register. As recent history has shown, even a
small number of such fraudulent registrations could tip the balance in a close election.
This paper provides concerned citizens with guidance on ACORN’s tactics, and
ideas on how to counter them. While this paper addresses only ACORN, other groups
often mimic ACORN’s tactics in conducting large voter registration drives.
This paper first describes ACORN’s methods and recounts examples of its
dubious behavior. It then outlines specific methods to counter ACORN’s tactics, both
before and on Election Day. In particular, concerned citizens should educate local
1 Purcell v. Gonzalez, 549 U.S. 1, 3-4 (2006).
2 Greg J. Borowski, “ACORN Suspicion Swell