'Hitler' appears on Ohio voter registration form

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Published November 03, 2012

| FoxNews.com

Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys, including Quarterback Tony Romo, were names that ACORN workers attempted to register to vote during the 2008 presidential election.

The ensuing outrage sparked a voter registration fraud scandal that helped lead to the activist group's demise, and put new focus on the integrity of third-party voter registration efforts during Presidential elections.

Now, four years later, the name: John Adolf Hitler, was one of those turned in on a voter registration form collected by another group in Cincinnati, according to the Hamilton County Board of Elections.

"It's certainly not a joke. In Ohio, that kind of activity is a felony," says Alex Triantafilou, an Elections Board member who also serves as the Chairman of the county's Republican party.

"Any person who would engage in that kind of conduct with something as serious to our democracy as voting, is highly irresponsible and potentially criminal...We have someone doctoring registrations, and the next step would be a serious move toward fraudulent voting. We are worried about it.”

The listing, "Adolf Hitler, John...666 Heltz...la," puts his supposed residence in Los Angeles.

It was part of a batch of roughly 200 voter registrations that election officials say were flagged as possibly fraudulent, forged, or duplicated by the group that collected them, FieldWorks, a private Washington, D.C. based firm.

FieldWorks, says it works largely with Democratic candidates, causes and progressive organizations collecting signatures for voter registration or ballot initiatives across the country.

“We have a zero tolerance for fraud," FieldWorks co-owner Chris Gallaway told Fox News, defending his firm.

"Not only is the employee committing fraud, but he is stealing from us.”

The case echoes multiple voter registration fraud allegations against the now defunct community-organizing group ACORN, and FieldWorks says it has fired two workers in Cincinnati whom they suspect may have been forging cards.

Gallaway told Fox News that it was his firm that first brought the registration of " Hitler" to the attention of election authorities.  

"I like to think that we do a lot of good work," Gallaway told us. "A lot of people have gotten a black eye. We've seen the stories out of Florida, on ACORN...we want to make these operations, which in the past have not been great, to focus on quality control."

He says the firm scrutinizes every voter registration form that it turned in to election boards, and even gives canvassers GPS cell phones to ensure that they "are not at their home forging applications."

ACORN workers had admitted they did just that.

Gathering signatures was too difficult, said one ACORN worker in Seattle, so he went home and filled out the forms while he "smoked marijuana."

There are also allegations of forged FieldWorks forms in Cleveland.

Elections officials in Cuyahoga County tell Fox News that they have referred three FieldWorks canvassers to the local prosecutor, after finding signatures that they believe are fraudulent on petitions to get an initiative on the ballot.

"We had problems with FieldWorks," charges Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Deputy Chairman Pat McDonald.

"We found multiple individuals where it looked like it was the same signature from the circulator who was circulating the petitions...we want to make sure there is no potential fraud in any entity of elections administration."

Last month, another former Ohio FieldWorks canvasser, 21 year old Timothy Zureick, plead not guilty by reason of insanity to 22 counts of felony false voter registration and one count of election falsification. He is accused of faking signatures on a ballot petition, including those of prominent local Democrats.

Gallaway says his company has protections in place to detect and guard against fraud.  He described in detail to Fox News the measures the company takes.

"We feel that it is our job to do due diligence," he says. "We have an employee who has reviewed every single card. We categorize the cards into the ones that are possibly incomplete, (and) we will flag things that look like they could possibly contain some issues of fraud and be potentially fraudulent. We have a high standard here, if we are not 100% sure of the card, we will flag it to the Board of Elections.”

The attempted “Hitler” registration, highlights concerns that election officials have in several states with third party groups, like FieldWorks, and others, gathering voter registration forms.

One potential issue is that when workers’ income depends on gathering cards, there can be an incentive to falsify registrations to meet quotas or minimums.

In an interview with Fox News, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler says that  “sometimes a worker will misrepresent who they work for, and sometimes they will tell voters they are no longer registered in order to get them to register and scare them.”

Authorities in Florida and Virginia are investigating suspected fraudulent forms submitted by Republican party contractors. One worker in Colorado was fired for falsely claiming that she was working for the county clerk.

“We have a lot of voter registration drives in Colorado and I want to encourage people to register to vote, but we still have to make sure we do it in the right way.”

One of the FieldWorks workers fired in Cincinnati, 33 year old Cheryl Toran, says she did not do anything wrong and blames the people solicited for providing false information.

"It wasn't me ... it was the people that I stopped and asked on the street," Toran told Fox News, insisting that she did not know there were problems on the forms.

Hamillton County Board of Elections records show that a different worker turned in the "Hitler” card, but several of the registration forms Toran gathered were flagged by FieldWorks as potentially fraudulent.

"I was betrayed by some of the people that I ran into, because if you really didn't want to fill out the card, you could have just said no. Don't say yes and then just throw anything down on the card, because it falls back on me."

She feels it was unfair that she was fired and held responsible.

"I was hurt," she told us. "I'm real honest...and it made me feel like I wasn't, like they couldn't trust me. That's why they had to let me go."

Gallaway defends the company’s course of action though.

He says "if a canvasser did no wrong, and was really taken advantage of by a voter, I feel sorry for the canvasser. From our perspective, we can't distinguish that, and any issues of fraud causes us to terminate the employee."

Toran also says FieldWorks had a quota for its workers, that they must solicit 24 completed registration cards during a 7 and 1/2 hour shift.  If a worker does not fulfill the quota, Toran says "they would let you go."

FieldWorks denies it imposes a quota, calling the number of signatures expected to be turned in, as a "minimum.”

Hamilton County elections officials say they have forwarded the "Hitler" card to the Los Angeles County Registrar for a final determination.

The names of the fired FieldWorks employees have been turned over to the local prosecutor’s office.

If you suspect voter fraud or election problems where you live, tell us: Voterfraud@Foxnews.com

Meredith Orban contributed to this report.

URL

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/11/03/hitler-appears-on-ohio-voter-registration-form/