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Groups Deliver Petition to AG's Office to Investigate James O'Keefe

February 3, 2012

CONCORD, N.H. - He is perhaps best known as a self-proclaimed citizen journalist who secretly videotaped himself and an associate posing as a pimp and prostitute at A.C.O.R.N. offices around the country. Now, James O'Keefe has come under fire for another event that took place last month in the Granite State.

This time, it involved associates of O'Keefe who allegedly went to polling stations and received ballots after giving the names of recently deceased voters. A petition with more than 109,000 signatures was delivered to Attorney General Michael Delaney's office on Thursday, by groups requesting an investigation into the matter. Diallo Brooks, field director with People for the American Way, was there.

"We attribute this to being similar to somebody robbing a bank to prove a point that the bank could be robbed. And the person who does that, if they rob the bank, they will be prosecuted and arrested for actually robbing a bank - even though they were trying to prove a point – and same situation here."

Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress, says her primary concern is O'Keefe's statements to The Concord Monitor that he would do it again.

"If our Attorney General doesn't move swiftly to investigate and prosecute James O'Keefe and his team, they're leaving the door open for them to go and commit more acts of voter fraud."

Rice Hawkins is convinced that the prank is most likely part of a push to institute voter-identification laws in New Hampshire and elsewhere. Supporters of such laws say if voters are asked to present identification at polling places, there will be less fraud, while opponents say there are already sufficient laws and that the additional requirement will dissuade some people from voting.

Richard Head with the New Hampshire Attorney General's office says the entire matter is under investigation, and has been since the New Hampshire primary was held on Tues., Jan. 10.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - NH