doj.gif

NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


BRADLEY J. SCHLOZMAN



Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html



FEBRUARY 6, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


ACORN EMPLOYEE PLEADS GUILTY

TO ELECTION FRAUD


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Bradley J. Schlozman, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man who was hired by ACORN to work in a voter registration drive pleaded guilty in federal court today to voter registration fraud.


            Dale D. Franklin, 44, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple this morning to the charge contained in a Nov. 1, 2006, federal indictment..


            Franklin was hired by ACORN, a not-for-profit organization, to work with Project Vote, also a not-for-profit organization that works with ACORN to register voters for federal and local elections. ACORN and Project Vote recruit and assign workers to visit low-income and minority neighborhoods in Jackson County, Mo., and elsewhere to obtain voter registrations. The workers are trained and instructed regarding how to obtain voter registrations and the preparation of voter registration applications.


            Franklin worked as a voter registration recruiter for ACORN in late September and early October 2006, obtaining voter registrations prior to the Nov. 7, 2006, election. Franklin admitted that he knowingly caused to be furnished to the Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners a voter registration application on which Franklin forged the signature of the applicant and on which the address and telephone number listed were false.


            By pleading guilty today, Franklin acknowledged that his actions deprived the residents of Missouri of a fair and impartially conducted election process. Franklin admitted that he defrauded the qualified voters who had a right guaranteed by the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution to have the election officials count their votes and certify elections based on the number of valid ballots cast in the election by qualified voters.


            Under federal statutes, Franklin could be subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Linda Parker Marshall. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


****************

This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html