Completed voter-registration forms stolen from group
Posted 6/24/2008 05:43:00 PM
Ninety completed voter-registration applications that included Social Security numbers and dates of birth were stolen over the weekend from the
As a result, ACORN plans to send letters to those whose applications were stolen to inform them of the situation. The letters will include blank applications that can be filled out and mailed directly to the county clerk’s office.
The group has the ability to send such letters because it keeps track of the information of those it registers “in order to ensure they get placed successfully on the voter rolls,” according to a news release from the group.
“We don’t want anything to stand in the way of new voters participating in the upcoming election,” ACORN Board Member Mark Gerring said in the news release, “so while we are outraged that someone would take new voters’ applications, we can at least be sure that all of these future voters can have another opportunity to complete an application and mail it directly to the county clerk.”
The burglary was discovered about 8 p.m. Friday. Matthew Henderson, the head of ACORN in
County spokesman Jess Williams said the burglary reveals a problem in state law, which doesn’t regulate groups that conduct independent voter-registration drives or the security measures they use to protect personal information.
“The problem is that the statute is wide open. You could drive a truck through it. And bureaus of elections and the secretary of state have no control over who conducts voter-registration drives,” Williams said. “We’ve got to get the statute changed if we’re going to protect people’s identities.”
James Flores, spokesman for the Secretary of State’s Office, said his office had not been informed about the burglary. He said he hopes those whose applications were stolen will fill out and submit the second applications ACORN is mailing to them.
“Burglaries happen, but it’s a shame that this happened,” he said. “… I hope it doesn’t deter them from wanting to get involved in the process.”
Earlier this month,