Campaign Chaos in the Sunshine State

By: Mike Vasilinda
By: Mike Vasilinda

A former campaign manager for the effort to raise the minimum wage says his old organization improperly registered voters. Top lawyers say even if true, the allegations should not affect the outcome of the election.

Joe Johnson was hired by Acorn, the group pushing a higher minimum wage in April. By August he quit in disgust. The questionable activity includes paying petition gatherers to register new voters.

That is illegal under state law when they are being paid by the number of new registrations. Johnson says there was more.

Joe says, "I also was told that voter registrations were being back dated."

If Acorn was indeed collecting petition signatures at the same time it was getting voters to sign the registration form, the petitions wouldn’t be valid unless the form was back dated.

The allegations are under investigation by the state Department of Law Enforcement, but beyond acknowledging the investigation, no one will say much.

Jenny Nash, Secretary of State’s Spokesperson, says, "FDLE does have investigations that are ongoing, but I do not have the details on that."

Lawyer Barry Richard expects the allegations and investigations to spur some lawsuits, but the Bush-Cheney lawyer does not think lawsuits over registrations are going to determine who will be the next president.

Barry says, "You’ve got to have outright fraud and a lot of people participating in it in order to have that happen."

Some 12 lawsuits over this election have already been filed. Six have been settled, but six more remain in legal limbo.

Republicans have outpaced Democrats in registering new voters, but the largest growth of new registrations are those voters not claiming any party affiliation.


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