By STEPHEN SIFF
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- A 20-year-old who worked part time for America Coming Together will not face voter fraud charges for turning in a voter registration card with a forged signature and information.
The Trumbull County Board of Elections unanimously voted not to pursue charges against William Lyell of Niles after the Youngstown State University student testified that he did not know the information on the card was false.
At a hearing Tuesday, Lyell told the board that a car approached him while he was collecting signatures door to door in Newton Falls. One of the people in the car filled out the card, he told officials.
Handwriting on the card did not match that of Lyell, or that of the person who was purportedly being registered to vote.
"They turned in a fraudulent card, but we could not figure out who filled the card out," said board member Craig Bonar, a Republican.
He said the board will continue to examine an additional 27 registration cards turned in by America Coming Together that appear to have erroneous voter addresses.
The political action group has registered 13,000 people to vote in the November election by going door to door in Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties, regional director William Pasidak said.
Canvassers are paid $8 or $9 an hour, depending on experience, he said.
The few dozen apparent address errors discovered by the board of elections could be the result of people moving, he said.
"Most of the people I talk to say that is an incredibly low margin of error," he said.
Voter registration drives in other counties have had similar problems, Trumbull County Board of Elections director Norma Williams said.
In Cuyahoga County, more than 2,000 registration cards were thrown out because of bad addresses, Williams said.
These voters may not realize that their voter registration did not go through, because the board of elections couldn't contact them by mail, she said.
"People are going to be disappointed on Election Day when they are told they can't vote," Williams said.