Charges announced in voter fraud case

MEDIA, Pa. - October 21, 2008 - The accusations stem from the man's time spent working with ACORN this past spring.

The Delaware County DA has filed dozens of federal charges against 34-year-old Jamar Barksdale of Chester. He was hired by ACORN to go out to a mall and register new voters.

Investigators say this is a case of one man, acting alone, accused of altering the registration information of 18 individuals and simply making up another 22 names, just to collect a paycheck from ACORN.

The DA says Barksdale turned in phony applications to ACORN which were then submitted to the County Registration Commission. The DA says the head of that office discovered the discrepancies.

"The deception was handing in to a supervisor fraudulent voter applications in exchange for money," said District Attorney Mike Green.

ACORN says they fired Barksdale at the end of May when they discovered his alleged fraud. They say they also alerted the county Board of Elections. The DA says the investigation was initiated by his detectives.

"The question as to how ACORN operates, its internal business procedures... that's not a matter that's being investigated by the office of the District Attorney," Green said.

ACORN has been under fire nationally by the Republican Party for allegedly cutting corners to swell the registration rolls for the Democrats.

The DA of Delaware County, a Republican, says ACORN is cooperating with his investigation.

But, why bring charges now, just two weeks before the election when detectives have been on the case since July?

Green says they had to wait for handwriting analysis that was submitted just five days ago.

"Given the investigative technique they were required to use in this case, that was delayed until a few days ago," Green said.

Green said he could not elaborate as to what technique he was referring to.

Green says the county is investigating another 500 questionable registrations, most of them submitted by ACORN. But he wouldn't say which organizations submitted the others.

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