Days after searching the Delaware County office of a Democratic grassroots organization for evidence of voter-registration fraud, state police on Thursday raided a second office – this one in Philadelphia.
Agents executed the warrant at FieldWorks LLC’s office in North Philadelphia after 5 p.m., seeking, among other things, forms that could be used to “construct fraudulent voter registration forms” and “completed voter registration forms containing same or similar identifying information of individuals on multiple forms,” court documents show.
As in the raid in Norwood, the latest warrant said investigators from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office suspected “tampering with public records or information” or violations of an act that regulates military and overseas ballots.
No charges have been filed against FieldWorks, a Washington-based organization, and it has pledged to cooperate with investigators. People familiar with the probe say there is currently no evidence pointing toward an effort to cast illegal or fraudulent ballots in next week’s election.
At a meeting with the Inquirer’s editorial board Thursday, Attorney General Bruce Beemer declined to discuss specifics of the FieldWorks case. But he said most voter-registration probes focus on canvassers caught “cutting corners when it comes to registering individuals or doing stuff to meet a quota.”
While registering eligible voters is a laudable goal, there is an ongoing problem of organizations (of which FieldWorks may or may not be one) conducting mass voter registration drives that file false or inaccurate registrations, whether through poor training, improper pressure on or incentives to the field workers, bad purposes, or other reasons. Every state has precise, though not usually complex, requirements for conducting voter registration drives, and states would do well to review and enhance those requirements to ensure that voter registration drives do not end up being a vehicle for fraud.