The probe into fraudulent voter registrations in Allegheny County may soon produce criminal charges, according to the DA. The charges may not be limited to the misdemeanor of registration fraud, either, but potentially forgery — a felony that carries a stiff sentence:
The Allegheny County district attorney said Thursday that criminal charges could result from nearly 100 fraudulent voter registrations submitted in the Pittsburgh area, some of which came from a group accused of flooding elections offices around the country with bogus applications. …
“There are clearly people on some of these applications that were not solicited … or may not exist,” he said.
Asked whether the investigation would lead to charges, Zappala said: “There appears to be a crime, yes.”
Violations of election laws generally are misdemeanor charges, but forging a signature on an official document is a violation of criminal law and could be a felony. In Pennsylvania, a second-degree felony forgery conviction could carry up to 10 years in prison.
This could be a promising path to take with other prosecutions. If workers sign fraudulent registration cards, that becomes forgery, and that’s a felony in most if not all jurisdictions. Also, if memory serves, perjury can also apply in some cases of entering false information on government forms, but perhaps that doesn’t apply to voter registrations. If not, it should.
Let’s hope the Allegheny County DA files the toughest charges he can find. The only way to stop ACORN from committing its systemic fraud throughout the nation is to start filing tough charges against its foot soldiers, who can then expose the executives for any directives they have issued to generate thousands upon thousands of fraudulent registrations. When the canvassers start facing 10-year sentences, we will start hearing plenty about ACORN management.
Update: Just to give a flavor of ACORN’s tactics, Palestra interviewed one of the most-registered voters in our nation’s history:
Here’s the most insidious part about the effort. The flood of registrations ACORN supplies creates an overload for registrars, who then have a more difficult time finding the more subtle cases of registration fraud. Is ACORN deliberately overloading registrars to hide some other effort?
Also, I’ve changed the post title. I know Allegheny County is Pittsburgh, but for some reason I wrote Philly. Must be the Steagles era that confused me.