TRUMBULL CO. VOTERS Hearing targets possible fraud
Group members classified the employee as one of their top canvassers.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- It will be at least a few more weeks before any decision is made regarding possible voter registration fraud by a political action group.
The Trumbull County Board of Elections subpoenaed three employees of America Coming Together, a group that has registered abut 11,000 voters in Mahoning and Trumbull counties going door to door, to a hearing conducted Tuesday.
At issue is a voter registration obtained by an ACT employee obtained from a man in a Newton Falls trailer park who passed himself off a Niles man. There also are questions about other registrations obtained by the group because of invalid addresses and duplicate registrations.
William Lyle, the ACT employee who obtained the signature in Newton Falls, couldn't attend Tuesday's hearing because he's participating in a professional boxing tournament in Las Vegas, said Bill Padisak, ACT regional director.
When questioned by James Saker, an assistant county prosecutor, both Padisak and Jim Calla, former ACT assistant director, said there were no other problems reported regarding registrations obtained by Lyle.
"He was one of our best canvassers," Padisak said. "He's very dedicated, very loyal and very hard-working."
Voter registration fraud is a felony, Saker pointed out.
Board members set Sept. 14 for another hearing to hear from Lyle and asked ACT to provide records regarding the other incidents of possible fraudulent registrations.
Padisak and Calla also said that there's no incentive to obtain fraudulent registrations. Employees are paid hourly, not per registration. Workers start at $8 per hour and move to $9 per hour after 30 days.
Norma J. Williams, board director, said ACT also submitted four cards from the same person to the board. Another person filled out two cards on the same day with two different addresses.
In other business, board members threw out two local options that had filed to be on the November ballot because of lack of sufficient signatures. Both the Lake Tavern, state Route 46 Northeast, Mecca, and Speed Check Food Mart, Parkman Road, Warren, had sought the options to sell alcohol on Sundays.