There's nothing wrong with playing the tables in Vegas, but authorities say ACORN was using the names of those casino games as a cover to illegally pay workers to sign up voters as part of an illegal quota system.
A preliminary hearing Tuesday in the downtown Clark County courthouse has put ACORN on trial for the first time as a criminal defendant.
Until now, prosecutions for voter registration fraud have focused on ACORN workers, and authorities have secured guilty pleas from several who admitted to falsifying voter registration forms.
But when investigators from Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller's office raided the ACORN Las Vegas office, Ross says they found a paper trail that implicated the ACORN organization itself.
"We came across policy manuals that outline their policy of creating a quota system, which is against the law," Miller told FOX News in an interview. "This, in fact, was something that was widespread and something the organization itself knew about, and it's important to hold the organization criminally accountable as opposed to the individual field directors."
ACORN denies it had a quota for the number of voter registration forms that its workers were required to turn in every day. Instead, the organization says there were "performance standards" - an expectation that workers would find 20 new voters a day.
But prosecutors say ACORN paid a $5 bonus per day to workers who would sign up 21 or more voters per shift, hence the name "21" or "Blackjack," an alleged quota system that Ross says is the first step toward corrupting the democratic system.
"These charges strike at the heart of having integrity of the electoral process. That's something that is important in Nevada and the entire country," he told FOX News.
"By filing these charges we are sending a clear message we are not going to tolerate these kinds of activities. We have seen voter registration abuse before and we are holding these people accountable."
Pressure has been mounting on ACORN in recent weeks after videotapes surfaced showing staffers in multiple cities offering advice to a man and woman posing as a pimp and a prostitute on how to commit tax fraud."
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