September 30, 2008

Election Fraud Charge Filed Complaint Claims Worker Had Quota


A Milwaukee resident was charged Monday with election fraud, the first charge in an investigation into voter registration workers who submitted fake names to the city in what a complaint says amounted to a quota system.

According to the complaint, Endalyn Adams, 21, is accused of submitting dozens of fake names and addresses as a registration worker paid by the Community Voters Project, one of two primary groups under scrutiny.

Adams is one of 49 cases that City of Milwaukee election officials submitted to the Milwaukee County district attorney's office for review.

Nearly all of those submitted were workers for the Community Voters Project or the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

In Adams' case, the complaint states, Voters Project officials flagged 28 problematic names for city election officials.

The complaint says investigators found another 45 names Adams had submitted earlier that were added to the list, with about 60% of those deemed false. The false names have been removed.

The complaint claims Adams "was required to obtain 15 (completed) voter registration forms a day. She could not keep her job with the CVP and she would not be paid unless she met this 'performance standard,' which for all practical purposes is a quota."

According to the complaint, Adams faces up to 3 1/2 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 if convicted of the felony charge. A warrant was to be issued Monday for her arrest, officials said.

Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf indicated that charges against other registration workers might be filed in the future. He also said that in some of the referrals, decisions had been made not to pursue charges based, for instance, on the quality of the evidence.

In 2006, several cases emerged in which fraudulent signatures were submitted by registration workers who were being paid by the number of signatures they obtained.

Gov. Jim Doyle and state lawmakers passed a series of reforms, including one that barred per-signature payments, which they said amounted to an incentive to submit false names.

State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm have created a task force to review any complaints filed between now and Nov. 4, as well as those that come on election day.

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