Woman charged in Mo. with voter registration fraud

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

ST. LOUIS -- An East St. Louis, Ill., woman has been charged with submitting false information on voter registration cards, including turning in cards from nursing home residents without their knowledge.

Deidra Humphrey, 44, worked for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now and the Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition from June through August last year, said federal prosecutor Catherine Hanaway's office.

Humphrey allegedly submitted forged voter registration cards to elections officials in St. Louis city and county, according to a federal indictment that charged her with two felony counts of voter registration fraud. If convicted, she faces up to five years in prison on each count and fines.

Humphrey does not have a listed phone number, and according to online court records, does not yet have a lawyer.

Missouri Pro-Vote's interim director Joan Suarez said the organization fired Humphrey before becoming aware of the alleged false submissions, and she didn't know how many false cards may have been submitted.

She was not aware of anyone who had been able to vote fraudulently because of false cards allegedly turned in by Humphrey. The organization fully cooperated with an FBI investigation into the matter, she said.

Humphrey worked as an organizer for Pro-Vote, and Suarez said that while workers have goals for the number of voter registration cards turned in, they are paid by the hour, not by the number of cards they submit.

"We certainly do not condone the kind of behavior she [allegedly] engaged in," Suarez said.

Humphrey worked for ACORN for 12 days in late June and early July, and left voluntarily to work for Missouri Pro-Vote, said ACORN's Midwest director Jeff Ordower.

In its own investigation, ACORN determined that Humphrey violated the group's procedures, Ordower said. ACORN reported its findings to the St. Louis County Board of Elections on Sept. 12.

Ordower also said the organization pays its workers by the hour, not by cards submitted.

Before the November presidential election, ACORN came under fire for allegations of registering fraudulent voters. Ordower said ACORN worked aggressively to root out fraud.

"I think this is a great case of the system working," he said.

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