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Group's Offices Raided in Nevada
Nevada state officials raided the Las Vegas office of ACORN as part of an investigation into alleged voter fraud by the organization, which conducts voter registration drives nationally in its work with low-income communities.
About seven agents from the offices of the Nevada secretary of state and attorney general served a search warrant Tuesday and removed boxes and computers after being admitted by the landlord, said Bob Walsh, spokesman for Secretary of State Ross Miller. He said no staff was present during the raid of ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Walsh would not describe what prompted the search.
In July, the two Nevada state agencies involved in the raid, along with the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office for Nevada, formed a task force in response to complaints over voter registration practices, potential voter fraud, and enforcement of laws regarding voter intimidation. The federal agents were not part of Tuesday's search, Walsh said.
Registration drives conducted by ACORN in several states are under scrutiny by local elections officials for the accuracy of cards gathered by its workers.
The group also has been the object of heated denunciations from the Republican National Committee and the presidential campaign of John McCain, which contend the group is attempting to overwhelm election officials with new registrations that are carelessly gathered and would enable unqualified voters to get on the rolls.
"It is very difficult to ascribe any other motive to the activities of ACORN other than to swamp the system with registrations cards" that range from illegible to being drawn from names from telephone listings or other public directories, said RNC Chief Counsel Sean Cairncross. Cairncross spoke during a telephone news conference on another ACORN voter drive in northwest Indiana that local news accounts reported is under review by elections officers.
The ACORN drives, he said, "point to a lack of control in this organization" and "a willingness to go out and do this relentlessly."
-- Mary Pat Flaherty
VOTERS IN FLORIDA
New Registrants Mostly Democrats
The latest voter registration numbers from Florida show a decided edge for Democrats. As of Sept. 30, there were about 800,000 new voters added to the rolls this year, down slightly from the 1 million new voters added in 2004, when the Republicans launched a major effort to sign up evangelical Christians.