Michelle Malkin and NewsMax falsely claimed ACORN registered accused terrorist to vote

In her October 27 nationally syndicated column, conservative pundit Michelle Malkin erroneously claimed that The Columbus Dispatch reported that the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) registered illegal alien and accused terrorist Nuradin Abdi to vote in Ohio. While The Columbus Dispatch did report that Abdi was illegally registered to vote in Ohio, the paper never reported that ACORN registered Abdi. Rather, according to the Dispatch, Abdi appears to have registered to vote at the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

ACORN's website describes the group as “the nation's largest community organization of low and moderate-income families.”

A Nexis search revealed that The Columbus Dispatch has mentioned Abdi twice in the past 30 days: on October 24 and October 26. The October 24 article reported that Abdi was registered to vote in Ohio but did not mention ACORN. Malkin apparently based her assertion on an article published in the right-wing NewsMax Magazine (and posted on NewsMax.com on October 24) that did report that ACORN registered Abdi to vote, inaccurately citing the Dispatch, as well as an Ohio News Network TV report that mentioned both ACORN and Nuradin Abdi but made no linkage between the two.

From the NewsMax Magazine article:

Nuradin Abdi, a Somali immigrant and admitted al-Qaida member who was indicted earlier this year as part of a conspiracy to blow up the Columbus Mall, was registered to vote by the left-wing group ACORN, according to the Columbus Dispatch and the Ohio News Now TV Network.

From Malkin's October 27 column:

Last week, the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch reported that illegal alien Nuradin Abdi -- the suspected shopping mall bomb plotter from Somalia -- was registered to vote in the battleground state of Ohio by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), a left-wing activist group.

But the October 26 Columbus Dispatch article that mentioned Abdi noted that the NewsMax Magazine report was inaccurate. According to a county election official, Abdi's “voter-registration application appears to have been taken by the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles” :

A conservative monthly magazine [NewsMax Magazine] merged part of a news article from Sunday's [Columbus] Dispatch and a television report from the Ohio News Network, a Dispatch affiliate, and inaccurately reported that a man indicted on voter-registration charges registered an accused terrorist.

NewsMax Magazine reported “Dems register al-Qaida terrorists in Ohio vote drive.”

In fact, while The Dispatch found two accused terrorists are officially eligible to vote in Ohio, both of them apparently registered on their own. One is an imprisoned felon, so he will not be allowed to vote. The second is being held on immigration-violation charges and is not a U.S. citizen, also blocking him from voting.

Franklin County Elections Director Matthew Damschroder told The Dispatch that Nuradin Abdi's March 1999 voter-registration application appears to have been taken by the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles because it was typed. The Somalian swore he was a U.S. citizen on the application, an apparent violation of state and federal law.

Malkin is the author of the book In Defense of Internment: The Case for Racial Profiling in World War II and the War on Terror (Regnery, 2004).