Friday, October 10, 2008

ACORN must - by law - turn in bad forms [updtd]

The ACORN story, in a nutshell:

ACORN has been registering people to vote for almost 40 years. Millions of them. Because they register low income families, many of them minorities, they help Democrats get elected.

The extreme Right hates ACORN. They help the poor, the help minorities, they help Democrats. The most vile - Malkin, Limbaugh, etc. - regularly attack ACORN. If one voter registration form is filled out incorrectly, they use it to accuse the entire organization of willful fraud on a massive scale. If not raping babies.

This has been going on for years, and the extreme Right is very pleased right now because a month before the election "fraud at ACORN" is a huge story.

Here is a statement from ACORN. First:

Fact: ACORN has implemented the most sophisticated quality-control system in the voter engagement field, but in almost every state we are required to turn in ALL completed applications, even the ones we know to be problematic.

Think about that. One bad employee could fill out a thousand voter registration forms fraudulently. ACORN does their own checks, finds out they're false - and they have to turn them in anyway. They're legal documents. No problem: they flag them. They let election officials know that there are problems with those forms. But...

Fact: ACORN flags incomplete, problem, or suspicious cards when we turn them in, but these warnings are often ignored by election officials. Often these same officials then come back weeks or months later and accuse us of deliberately turning in phony cards.

Hard to fight that, y'know? You act in good faith, the other side doesn't - who wins? The other side often does, at least in the short term, and the Limbaughs and the Malkins of the world know this.


Fact: Our canvassers are paid by the hour, not by the card, so there is NO incentive for them to falsify cards. ACORN has a zero-tolerance policy for deliberately falsifying registrations, and in the relatively rare cases where our internal quality controls have identified this happening we have fired the workers involved and turned them in to election officials and law-enforcement.

Fact: No charges have ever been brought against ACORN itself. Convictions against individual former ACORN workers have been accomplished with our full cooperation, using the evidence obtained through our quality control and verification processes.

Fact: Voter fraud by individuals is extremely rare, and incredibly difficult. There has never been a single proven case of anyone, anywhere, casting an illegal vote as a result of a phony voter registration. Even if someone wanted to influence the election this way, it would not work.

Fact: Most election officials have recognized ACORN's good work and praised our quality control systems. Even in the cities where election officials have complained about ACORN, the applications in question represent less than 1% of the thousands and thousands of registrations ACORN has collected.

Fact: Our accusers not only fail to provide any evidence, they fail to suggest a motive: there is virtually no chance anyone would be able to vote fraudulently, so there is no reason to deliberately submit phony registrations. ACORN is committed to ensuring that the greatest possible numbers of people are registered and allowed to vote, so there is also NO incentive to "disrupt the system" with phony cards.

Fact: Similar accusations were made, and attacks launched, against ACORN and other voter registration organizations in 2004 and 2006. These attacks were not only groundless, they have since been exposed as part of the U.S. Attorneygate scandal and revealed to be part of a systematic partisan agenda of voter suppression.

These are the facts, and the truth is that a relatively small group of political operatives are trying to orchestrate hysteria about "voter fraud" and manufacture public outrage that they can use to further suppress the votes of millions of low-income and minority Americans.

Don't get duped by the quick take on this story. There is much more there.

Update: Much more at TPM.



Chris, IL said...

ACORN has been registering people to vote for almost 40 years. Millions of them. Because they register low income families, many of them minorities, they help Democrats get elected.
Because the Democrats have to lure the poor and uneducated into voting for them with promises of free stuff. Instead of encouraging people to do something with their lives, they say hey, stand in this line and put your hand out. that guy over there in the shirt and tie's taxes will get you some free stuff. hey, you made a mistake, and got pregnant. don't worry, just kill the thing and go on with your life. hey, you can't afford that house, but we'll set you up in it anyway. People need to become more accountable for their mistakes and stop hoping the government will bail them out. that goes for the rich and the poor. There are crooks in both parties, but i'd rather deal with crook capitalists than crook socialists.

Anonymous said...

your "analysis" of the ACORN situation, above and beyond the atrocious spelling errors, is complete B.S.! You CANNOT spin this enough to exonerate the criminals behind this effort - not even Superman, flying counter to the rotation of the Earth, in order to turn back time, can do that!

If you have faith in your candidate and his message, then why resort to such blatant and obvious fraud? It makes no sense, unless you're not quite as certain of the outcome as you let on...hmmm

LT said...

1st anonymous: You're an idiot.

2nd anonymous: There was one spelling error. "Filled" was spelled "fillid." Atrocious! I can't stand to live another second!

Now please show me how ACORN's statement doesn't speak to your accusations.

Robert said...

Who benefits from such blatant attempts to submit bogus registration forms? It is the Republican party.
I'd say it is extremely likely that Republican operatives signed up with Acorn to purposely sabotage registrations so that surprise, surprise look what we have here, validation of all the smears that the right wing persist in making about those dastardly cheating Democrats.

Anonymous said...

What this means is that if Obama wins it was hanky-panky being done, but if McCain wins it's fair and square. Obama is going to win and those precious few votes dealing with ACORN are not going to make a bit of difference.

Mickey said...

So, let me get this straight. John McCain supported ACORN's efforts in 2006, i.e., he appeared at an event ACORN co-sponsored. Sen. McCain was one of the guest speakers at the event held at the Miami Dade College. This was covered by the news media in Miami.

Quoting Sen. John McCain,

"What makes America special is what's in this room, tonight. That's what makes America special."

One has to question where Sen. McCain's stance is after hearing his speak himself at this event, in contrast to his recent rhetoric on ACORN.

How can those of you defend, much less dispute what has come "right out of the (proverbial) horse's mouth"?