Among a rash of vote-fraud complaints across the nation, one of the biggest instances of suspicious registrations can be found in Bernalillo County, where the Federal Bureau of Investigation has opened a preliminary investigation into 1,400 potentially fraudulent registrations, the Wall Street Journal reported this morning.
That number represents an increase over the estimated 1,100 questionable voter registration cards reported in September by Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver, who told the Albuquerque Journal last month that she had notified state and federal agencies about the problem.
Toulouse Oliver told the Journal at the time that the number of potentially fraudulent registrations could grow because there was still a backlog of about 6,000 registrations that hadn't been entered into the system in mid-September.
The Democratic county clerk who is overseeing her first presidential election told the Wall Street Journal that her office's review of registration card works.
"That's 1,400 cards here sitting in a file; they're not entered into the system," Toulouse Oliver told the WSJ.
The Albuquerque Journal reported in August on a forged card for Rebecca Sitterly, a former state District Court judge from Albuquerque who had been voting in the same place for nearly two decades.
That card was submitted by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, a controversial nonprofit organization that said it had handled 72,000 new voter registrations in New Mexico from January to mid-September, the Journal reported.
The Wall Street Journal reported today that ACORN and other organizations had registered nearly 80,000 voters in its drive focused on New Mexico's Democratic-leaning urban areas.
Bianca Brown, ACORN's quality-control manager, told the WSJ that employees check each application and have a call center to confirm the information with applicants and that such reviews have caught one person who registered as Batman and another who tried to register 70 times.
ACORN said it has fired about 80 workers in New Mexico since December 2007 over potentially fraudulent registrations, the WSJ reported.
Justine Fox-Young, a Republican state legislator from Albuquerque, told the Wall Street Journal that even if illegal votes are relatively rare, "every fraudulent vote cast cancels out a legitimate one. This is New Mexico, where every election is close."
The Republican National Committee is renewing its complaints about registration problems in a year where millions of new voters are being added to the rolls, especially focusing on ACORN, the WSJ reported.
State election officials in Nevada raided ACORN offices on Tuesday over suspicious registrations — a move ACORN interim chief organizer Bertha Lewis told the Wall Street Journal was a "stunt," saying the group itself had reported suspicious applications to Nevada officials.