"I Don't Get Credit For Democrats" Registration Raises More Questions

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Earlier this week a KOLO 8 News Now report raised questions election officials termed "alarming" about a voter registration drive in Reno last week.

Our report contained cell phone video of a man appearing to claim he was working for one party and wouldn't get paid for turning any forms for the opposing party.

The video, which has since gone viral, shows a man outside Reno's main post office last Friday, the final day for on the street registration..

It shows the man asking a prospective voter, who is taking the video, for favor-- register either as a Republican or a Non Partisan.

"I don't get credit for Democrats," the man says apologetically. "We're working for the Republican party, I have to get two an hour, but if I bring back a Democrat I don't get credit."

After our story aired we heard by email from another man who says he is working for the same organization and said everything in the video was true.

"Democrat signed forms were HIGHLY frowned upon," he says (the emphasis is his) "to the point of being near terminated or terminated if we returned with too many. We were specifically instructed to target republican voters."

Although he characterized the video as "alarming", Secretary of State Ross Miller said it didn't contain enough clear evidence to indicate a violation of the law. The man wasn't threatening to destroy or fail to turn in a Democratic registration and it wasn't clear how he was getting paid.

In 2008 Miller prosecuted ACORN for a paying people based on the total number of forms turned in.

This second source says they were being paid by the hour, but that hour only counted if they managed to register two non-Democrats within that hour.

"....we would only get paid hours based on the forms we completed, and if they were completed with anything but Democrat," he said. "It didn't matter if we were in the field 8 hours. If we returned with 10 filled out forms, that's 5 hours. (It) basically boils down to being paid by the form in the end, just a backhanded way of doing the same thing."

It's still not clear if this is a violation.

Late Friday the Secretary of State's office issued this statement: β€œIt is a felony to compensate someone based upon the number of voters they register in a particular party. While the second witness alleges facts that would more likely rise to the level of a violation of this law, it is still not entirely clear that a crime was in fact committed. We would need to speak with this gentlemen directly before we would attempt to prosecute such a violation."

That's not likely to happen.

This other worker says the man in the video was fired for having been caught.. He's afraid to come forward for the same reason.

"I don't want to say anything. Its a job when I need one."

"I feel bad for him, just trying to earn a paycheck, Like all of us are," he says of his former coworker. "Stooping to a level of working for the other side, to keep food on the table.

We do know more about where this is coming from, however. We've obtained the receipt for registration caught on camera. It contains the man's initials and the organization's--AFP, Americans For Prosperity, an independent, Republican leaning Political Action Committee.

Our calls to them have not been returned.

Both political parties tell us, this kind of thing wouldn't happen in any of their registration drives. While looking to sign up people to their cause, they say they treat all impartially.

""We follow the spirit and letter of the law and register all Nevadans that approach our volunteers and encourage all Nevadans to voice their opinion in this election and register to vote,” says Pam DuPre, Executive Director of the Washoe County Democratic Party.

Washoe GOP chairman Dave Buell worries about the kind of voter who hasn't taken the time to register with official sources, but in any case, he says he wishes these independent drives would go away.

We can make it easy for them, but I don't think we need these voter registration drives and I think its something the legislature and the secretary of state should look at in the next term."

Finally, though it appears unlikely this incident is going to be prosecuted. It should be a caution to anyone who registered at an unofficial site.

Finally, though it appears unlikely this incident is going to be prosecuted. It should be a caution to anyone who registered at an unofficial site.

The Secretary of State's office issued the following advice:

"Because of a handful of isolated complaints such as this during this election cycle, our office urges any person who registered with a third-party group to verify that he or she is actually registered with the county clerk by visiting our website at nvsos.gov/votersearch to confirm registration status.”
If there's a problem, they say, you should report it.

There's still time to correct it by going to the Voter Registrar's office or county clerk and doing it for real. Registration closes Tuesday.