The community activist group Associations of Community Organizations for Reform Now is currently under investigation by the FBI for suspicion of fraud. ACORN employees are falsifying voter registration forms, signing the same name several times or signing the names of popular Disney characters. Statewide, more than 100 fake forms 30 in Wake County and 104 in Durham County are the focus of the state investigation.
Erika Pobee-Mensah, a North Carolina State University freshman in English, said she thinks this kind of behavior is disgraceful and can put a bad taste in peoples mouths about the election.
I think its kind of ridiculous for them to be doing that, Pobee-Mensah said. If theyre really that desperate for money they just need to get a real job. This could freak out a lot of voters.
Pobee-Mensah also said this could present a problem if voters associate ACORN with a particular candidate.
If people think ACORN employees are trying to promote a particular candidate, its going to make the people think that candidate is crooked, she said. People are going to think the candidate is dishonest and theyre going to vote for the opposition.
Though she doesnt believe the organization promoted this behavior, Pobee-Mensah said employees are giving ACORN a bad reputation in spite of all the good it does.
ACORN goes around getting people registered to vote, she said. In this day and age, when people arent coming out to the polls, its really important for someone to be doing this. If you have employees going around and giving the organization a bad name, people arent going to register and theyre not going to come out and vote.
ACORN said they are required to turn in all voter registration forms including ones they suspect are fake. The forms are tagged and officials examine them further before processing the registration.
Any employee found falsifying registration forms is fired, but Pobee-Mensah said stricter punishments should be put in place.
Obviously firing people isnt working because people are still doing it, she said. These people should face federal prosecution from the FBI for lying on a federal document.