October 12, 2004

(Updated) The Convoluted Story On Voter Registration Fraud

Group Caught In Nevada Might Have Been Working Downtown Portland

Note: This post has been updated. Any and all updates appear at the end of the original post.

It's already started to reverberate into the local Portland blogosphere. According to this story out of Las Vegas, an organization conducting voter registration around the country has apparently been caught in Nevada only processing registration forms for people registering as Republicans.

Why is this story echoing all the way into our backyard? Because of this bit from the above-linked article: "Another source said the company has now moved on to Oregon where it is once again registering voters."

Before we get to the latest local angle on this story, we need to get to the confusing part. According to the story out of Nevada, the group in question is something called Voters Outreach of America -- but the article claims that this group is also known as America Votes.

Problem is, there's another America Votes, and we're told by a source who works with that group that they are not the America Votes referred to by the article out of Las Vegas.

Initially, we assumed this opened up the possibility that the Las Vegas story might have been mistaken that the group engaging in illegal voter registration activities in Nevada was at work here in Oregon -- thinking that perhaps the reporter simply saw that there was an America Votes here in Oregon and that it must be the same people.

However, a report just aired on KGW's late-night newscast makes us rethink that take on it, and that the mysterious Voters Outreach of America might indeed have been active here.

According to KGW's report, they managed to corner a man conducting voter registration in Pioneer Courthouse Square today who was only accepting Republican registrations. In fact, the report said, he sometimes simply tosses Democratic registration cards in the trash. Why? Because he's getting paid $5 for every Republican registration, but nothing for Democratic registrations.

At the end of the KGW report, they stated that the man said he was from what he called the "traveling team" (no idea if that should be capitalized). They then referenced the story out of Las Vegas. Why? Because, they say, the man they cornered told them that his group had just recently been in Las Vegas.

So it seems that this group indeed may have been active here in Oregon after all. One thing that needs to be cleared up right away is whether or note Voters Outreach of America really does business as anything called America Votes. Why? Because, as we said, the America Votes that works here in Oregon is unaffiliated with the organization engaged in voter registration fraud, but the KGW report specifically used the name America Votes and never once referred to Voters Outreach of America.

So that's where this story's local angle stands as of this late hour tonight. If anyone manages to dig up anything else, please post it to the comments here.

October 12, 2004


Thanks to a trackback ping that just came into this post, we've been pointed to some other links regarding this outfit, including an Oregon newspaper article on the controversy over the actual name of the organization. Someone needs to bitchslap the KGW reporter responsible for today's story for in essence maligning the wrong organization.

Be sure to click through the first trackback listing on this post, because it contains several other links relevant to the activities of this nefarious GOP-leaning organization, as well as information about who's behind it.

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Comments (13)

  1. Mike on 12 Oct 2004

    Yes, they have see: http://www.topdog04.com



    September 21, 2004

    Librarian bares possible voter registration dodge
    Company claiming affiliation with the non-partisan ‘America Votes’ group appears to represent the GOP

  2. Lea on 13 Oct 2004

    In the 'For What It's Worth' department, KGW doesn't mention America Votes at all in the online version of the story:


    The original airing of the story was erroneous, but at least the online is correct. That's a step up from KOIN's attitudes, at least.

    PS: the extension on the end of the URL is html. My preview is showing me that it gets partially cut off.

  3. LC on 13 Oct 2004

    Want to really stop this practice?

    Hit them where it hurts.

    All the D's reading this should try to find these guys and reregister as R's (you can switch back later).

    Ten thousand new pseudo-Republicans = $50,000 that the R's can't spend on other things.

    It's like legally swiping five bucks from the RNC.

    You can do it a dozen times if you find different people to register with (no law against repeatedly reregistering to vote).

  4. Emily on 13 Oct 2004

    Can we get this on some national news stations? Why aren't more people picking this up?

    I have heard that people are saying that this happens all the time, that the Democrats have done it too, but this seems bigger. This company, see the Daily Kos Wiki Article is happening in specific swing states where the Republicans need all the tricks they can pull to win.

    According to comments on the Daily Kos article, the guy in charge of the firm that is pretending to be America Votes is Nathan Sproul of Sproul & Associates, a company that is funded directly by the RNC. He is a former Christian Coalition member and was the head of the Arizona Republican Party.

    They list his phone number there. Should we call him?

  5. Tom on 13 Oct 2004

    As a matter of fact my voter registration was collected downtown by somebody newly arrived from the southwest. When I received no voter card, I went and filled out my own card again at Multnomah County, but I think my original was tossed for the very reason that it was a 'D'.

  6. doretta on 13 Oct 2004

    Of course, they will always say the other guy does it too but that's just another Republican lie.

    The reality is, these days at least, only the Republicans do organized "suppress the vote" campaigns and they don't do it as an isolated activity.

    Only the Republicans have organized felon lists to eliminate the other party's voters but not theirs, only the Republicans run advertising campaigns to discourage minority voters, only the Republicans try to scam poor voters into believing they have to pay their rent or their parking tickets before they can vote.

  7. Susan Kitchens on 13 Oct 2004

    Turns out that Sproul Associates, the organization behind it, was receiving funding from the RNC for voter registration.

    Numbers and links to OpenSecrets.org pertinent funding info

  8. JS on 14 Oct 2004

    For what it's worth, my girlfriend and I think she almost fell victim to this voter reg scam.

    She was at PSU and was approached by someone that wanted to know if she was registered to vote. When she said "Democrat," he asked her if she would temporarily switch to Republican so she could sign a petition for a particular ballot initiative.

    When she told me this, I (stupid me) dismissed it somewhat as her not understanding what the guy was asking her to do. It just sounded so weird.

  9. Chris Edwards on 14 Oct 2004

    America Votes has nothing to do with Voters Outreach of America and/or Voters Outreach for America (people call it both names). America Votes was formed by about 20 liberal groups (AFL-CIO, moveon.org, Media Fund, just to name a few) to coordinate the actions of its founders. America Votes received a $50,000 donation from each of these founders, and I do not believe it has any other donors (www.opensecrets.org is a great source).

    I have great reason to suspect that the entire story is a forgery, as I fact-checked it when it first broke. When Klas-TV released its article, not even google.com could find any mention of Voters Outreach of America or Voters Outreach for America. In fact, I emailed Klas-TV to ask them to recheck the entire article due to the obvious improbability that a liberal group (America Votes) would trash democratic ballots, and they simply removed the mention of America Votes. They did not, however, remove that same mention from a follow-up article.

    First off, there is no connection between America Votes and Voters Outreach (if Voters Outreach does exist), because the two groups would hate each other. The GOP is also quite unlikely to fund America Votes, because America Votes (and its founders) hates the GOP. By the way, the president of America Votes was Deputy Chief of Staff for Nancy Pelosi (a very well-known democrat).

    I ran a story on my blog about this when the story first broke, and I am composing a follow-up at the moment. I hope you are able to find my articles useful.

  10. Ruth on 14 Oct 2004

    Check out yet another angle on this story, from Klamath Falls.

    The K Falls county clerk found a repub collecting voter reg cards on her doorstep. This is a major, statewide scandal.

    Please write to local media demanding they follow up. Find contact info here.

  11. Nathan Koren on 14 Oct 2004

    I was approached outside of Powell's downtown and asked, point blank, to register as a Republican. When I said that I had already recently registered at my new address, the man told me that it never hurts to register again, and that he got paid for every Republican registration and could really use the money. I'm not sure why he glommed onto me so much -- perhaps because I was carrying a hard-hat? -- but he actually tried pressure me in a number of different ways. Eventually I just walked away.

    I figured that he must have been from out of town, since any local conservative would hopefully know better than to pull that crap on Powell's doorstep, where conservatives are traditionally skinned and eaten alive. I briefly thought about mentioning this to him, but decided that he hadn't earned the kindess.

  12. Malia Cahill on 19 Oct 2004

    After my absentee ballot fell through in another state, I registered to vote in Oregon about 1 1/2 weeks before the deadline with a woman who approached me on L&C campus. She also asked me to regs republican so she could get money but I politely refused and filled out the form. After trying to rush me through the form she hurried off. I went to the election office today and confirmed my fear that I'm apparently not registered to vote and that my voter card was never recieved according to their records. Needless to say I'm pissed and want to locate this woman/org and other people who this may have happened to. Any info? Please e-mail me!

  13. vortex on 22 Oct 2004

    Here is the state email and web site to report voter registration fraud.

Trackbacks (12)

  1. Sproul & Associates runs Voters Outreach of America on 12 Oct 2004

    Found the following links which all seem to point to the same company that is suspected of tearing up Democratic voter registration forms in Las Vegas. It has set up registration drives in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Florida


    The plot is quickly thickening on the destruction of Democratic registrations. Voters Outreach of America is a an organization run by Aaron A.J. James. According to Indymedia of Arizona, James' outfit was hired by former Arizona GOP director Nathan ...


    The plot is quickly thickening on the destruction of Democratic registrations. Voters Outreach of America is a an organization run by Aaron A.J. James. According to Indymedia of Arizona, James' outfit was hired by former Arizona GOP director Nathan ...


    The plot is quickly thickening on the destruction of Democratic registrations. Voters Outreach of America is a an organization run by Aaron A.J. James. According to Indymedia of Arizona, James' outfit was hired by former Arizona GOP director Nathan ...

  5. Update on voter registration fraud on 13 Oct 2004

    In my previous post concerning the alleged trashing of voter registrations in Las Vegas, NV, there was a reference that the company involved in this action had possibly moved on to Oregon. Well, The One True b!X has an update to the story. It seems tha...

  6. GOP Pays Cash to Destroy DEM Registration on 13 Oct 2004

    It seems the GOP has more up their sleeve than just James Baker, Jeb Bush, Katherine Harris, and the grace of Chad to slip Dubious Geroge into office again. This

  7. Another reason to check on your voter registration on 13 Oct 2004

    If you want to go out and register folks in just one party, that's fine and legal (and the way the electoral game is played). If you pretend to register...

  8. Conspiracy theories and thinking hard about the panic button on 13 Oct 2004

    So, there's a rather interesting investigation going on in Nevada where someone's been tearing up newly signed Democratic voter registration forms.Employees of a private voter registration company allege that hundreds, perhaps thousands of voters who m...

  9. Republicans Under Investigation In Oregon on 13 Oct 2004

    Oregon voter (and longtime friend) Heather Hyland e-mailed today with this bit of news: A group funded by the Republican National Committee is under investigation in Nevada and Oregon for allegedly destroying voter registration cards completed by new v...

  10. Republicans Under Investigation In Oregon on 13 Oct 2004

    This post has been updated Oregon voter (and longtime friend) Heather Hyland e-mailed today with this bit of news: A group funded by the Republican National Committee is under investigation in Nevada and Oregon for allegedly destroying voter registrati...

  11. Voter Registration Fraud on 13 Oct 2004

    Republicans are under investigation in Oregon & Nevada for destroying voter registration cards. More to follow... Click here to read more on this. Oregon & Nevada are not the only states involved. Click here to read more info on this...

  12. Be careful of how you register to vote. on 14 Oct 2004

    The following directly from the Air America Radio website. Does your vote count? There have been countless systematic errors in...