The voter fraud hall of shame: Milwaukee voter fraud conviction makes ACORN’s 2010 total at least 15

Matthew Vadum Senior Vice President, Capital Research Center
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Yet another former ACORN employee was convicted of voter fraud last week. This brings the total number of convictions for former workers from the embattled group to at least 15 so far this year.

Kevin L. Clancy of Milwaukee pleaded guilty last week to participating “in a scheme to submit fraudulent voter registration applications,” according to Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. Clancy admitted to filing multiple voter registration applications for the same individuals and registering himself and other voter registration canvassers to vote multiple times while working on an ACORN voter drive.

Clancy received a 10-month prison term for his crime. Clancy’s sentence will begin when he completes another sentence he is currently serving for armed robbery.

“The integrity of elections is dependent upon citizens and officials insisting they be conducted lawfully,” Van Hollen said. “Wisconsin’s citizens should not have to wonder whether their vote has been negated or diminished by illegally cast ballots.”

So far 2010 has been a banner year for ACORN voter fraud prosecutions.

In Milwaukee, former ACORN worker Maria L. Miles, who worked with Clancy, pleaded guilty to “falsely procuring voter registration.” She will be sentenced next month.

Also in Milwaukee, Frank Edmund Walton was convicted of “falsely procuring voter registration.” According to Van Hollen, Walton solicited voter registrations while working for a group called the Community Voter Project. Court documents indicate that after committing the crime he became an ACORN employee. Walton will be sentenced in December.

In Washington state, ex-ACORN canvasser Kendra Lynn Thill was convicted of voter registration fraud and given a 12-month deferred sentence.

In Miami, Florida, former ACORN voter registration canvassers Maurice Childress, Kashawn John, Liltovia Rhodes, Carlos Torres, Evangeline Williams, Lilkevia Williams, and Richard Williams, were all convicted of “false swearing in an election.” All were sentenced to probation, community service, and forbidden to participate in political campaigns, according to the office of Katherine Fernandez Rundle, State Attorney for Miami-Dade County. In addition, Childress and Richard Williams were ordered to serve 72 days and 125 days in jail, respectively.

Arrest warrants were issued for three other former ACORN canvassers in the Miami area who are apparently still at large.

In Pennsylvania, former ACORN workers Alexis Givner, Mario Grisom, and Eric L. Jones, were convicted of voter registration fraud-related offenses. All three were sentenced to two years probation.

ACORN, the nonprofit shell corporation that runs the ACORN network, is still facing criminal prosecution in Nevada. Although ACORN filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Election Day to escape its debts, prosecutor Conrad Hafen, who is Nevada’s chief deputy state attorney general, previously said neither bankruptcy nor dissolution would “necessarily protect (ACORN) from prosecution” in Nevada.

The trial of ACORN for conspiracy to commit felony voter registration fraud was scheduled to begin Nov. 29, but ACORN lawyer Lisa Rasmussen had a scheduling conflict and the proceeding has been postponed. The trial will likely proceed in 2011. Hafen won’t be heading the prosecution’s team because he was recently elected a justice of the peace.

If ACORN is found guilty at the trial whenever it gets underway, the conviction would cause an earthquake in leftist organizing circles across America that could embolden prosecutors nationwide to take on ACORN and similar shady groups. Until it was charged by Nevada last year, ACORN had frequently boasted about how it — as opposed to its employees — had been able to duck prosecution for election fraud-related offenses.

Two weeks ago former senior ACORN executive Amy Adele Busefink cut a deal with Nevada prosecutors in hopes of avoiding prison time for her role in a voter fraud-related conspiracy.

Voter fraud, also called electoral fraud, is a blanket term encompassing a host of election-related improprieties. In this case, Busefink entered an “Alford plea” which is roughly equivalent to “no contest.” The case involves a conspiracy to provide illegal financial bonuses to voter registration canvassers exceeding their daily quotas. Nevada law forbids the practice on the theory that such bonuses provide an incentive for canvassers to file bogus registrations.

Busefink’s sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 10.

Matthew Vadum is a senior editor at Capital Research Center, a Washington, D.C. think tank that studies the politics of philanthropy.