DEFIANCE, Ohio – Elections officials knew something was wrong when they got voter registration cards for Mary Poppins, Dick Tracy, Michael Jordan and George Foreman.
They notified the Defiance County sheriff, who arrested Chad Staton (search) on Monday on a felony charge of submitting phony voter registration forms. Investigators also were looking into allegations that he was paid with cocaine in exchange for his efforts.
Staton, 22, had fraudulently filled out more than 100 voter registration forms, Sheriff David Westrick said.
"Staton was to be paid for each registration form that he could get citizens to fill out," the sheriff said. "However, Staton himself filled out the registrations and returned them to the woman who hired him from Toledo."
Staton was charged with false registration and was released without bond pending arraignment.
No other charges had been filed in the case Monday, authorities said.
According to Westrick, the NAACP's National Voter Fund (search) had submitted the false registrations to the elections board in Cleveland. George Forbes, Cleveland chapter president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (search), said Monday that the voter fund operates independently from his chapter.
Officers said they interviewed a Toledo woman who claimed that she had paid Staton with cocaine for the registrations. Officers said they obtained a search warrant and took voter registrations and drug paraphernalia from her home.
The woman claimed she had been recruited by a Cleveland man to obtain voter registrations, Westrick said.