Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Man faces six felony voter fraud charges in Michigan





A 23-year-old man accused of submitting forged voter registration applications to the Jackson city clerk is facing felony charges in Jackson County.


Attorney General Michael Cox on Tuesday charged Antonio Johnson, a former employee of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) with six counts of forgery of a public document.



Each felony count carries a penalty of up to 14 years in prison, according to a statement released Tuesday by the state attorney general's office.


The charges come at a time when local clerks statewide say they are handling tens of thousands of duplicate voter registrations that poured into their office as a result of efforts by community organizing groups and political parties.


Johnson, who has been in the Jackson County Jail since about July on a parole violation, was arraigned Tuesday in Jackson County District Court on the forgery charges.


He is accused of filling out, signing and submitting six applications using the names of two Jackson residents without their permission or knowledge between May 20 and June 2, said John Sellek, a spokesman for the attorney general.


Sellek said it was unclear where Johnson most recently lived.


His alleged actions concerned Cox because they are "directly damaging to the integrity of our election system," Sellek said.


Jackson City Clerk Lynn Fessel became suspicious of the forms because the apparent applicants already were registered and the information on the new applications did not match the information on file, Sellek said.


She asked city police in July to investigate. When interviewed, the victims suggested police speak to Johnson, who later admitted to the crimes, Sellek said.







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