Shelley Powers wrote a blog entry yesterday in support of ACORN:

ACORN is an organization focused on getting people to vote, ensuring that people equal access to housing and education, supportive of unions, and decent working conditions. Really, how awful—what do these people think this country is?

ACORN and Missouri have a long history together because my state is always held up as the poster child for voter registration fraud. Governor Blunt, a man so despised after his one and only term as governor that he didn't even run again, says it's all the fault of ACORN and that the organization is committing deliberate fraud in order to register Democratic voters.

What he doesn't say is that ACORN is typically the first to actually flag suspicious voters.

ACORN takes a hit every four years with wild claims of vote fraud. The 350,000-member organization registers thousands of lower- and middle-income voters. Incidents of fraud are rare, and they always turn out to be some paid worker trying to cheat ACORN by submitting bogus registrations instead of doing the hard work of signing real people up. Voter registration fraud is not the same thing as vote fraud. Signing "Mickey Mouse" up to vote is different than showing up on Election Day and casting a ballot for him.

Powers' entry generated more than 100 comments on the Drudge Retort, where I was surprised to hear from people who think that more people voting is a bad idea. "Why weren't the founders of our country concerned with 'everyone's right' to vote in a presidential election?" one asked.

The founding fathers didn't think women should vote, treated blacks as property, and were divided on whether Americans should be required to own property to vote. In 1788, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter asserting that women were "too wise to wrinkle their foreheads with politics."

Mad props to those white male 18th century landowners for the American Revolution, First Amendment, powdered wigs and Samuel Adams Pale Ale, but the idea we should defer to their views on voting is obscene.

-- Rogers Cadenhead

Comments

So Rogers,

Since these kinds of problems swirl around ACORN constantly, are they:

-- completely incompetent and unable to learn from past mistakes
-- engaged in fraud and just acting inept when they get caught

Since they get caught doing bad things all the time, it's one of the two. Regardless, why would you - or anyone - support them? The explanation that puts them in the best light is that they are incompetent fools who discredit their political allies.


 

Yes, I wondered about the increase in anonymous commenters...

Like your "mad props" paragraph.

James Robertson: most voter fraud convictions in the country have occurred because of confusion about laws related to paroled convicted felons, and confusion about the voter registration cards filled out at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

As for ACORN, what are they to do? In most states they have to file all registration cards, because of state law. All they can do is flag suspicious cards, which the organization does as much as possible. In addition, ACORN does not have access to the facilities to vet a voter registration card, like the local election boards have access to. Should we give ACORN access to social security rolls? DMV records? Other confidential information? I can just hear the Republicans now...

There's a reason why all voter registration cards have to be turned in: because of the potential for people to seem to register voters, but throwing away the cards in an effort to disenfranchise entire blocks of people.

Out of the 13,000 ACORN employees collecting voter registrations, how many have been convicted? Less than 100? How pervasive is this problem, really? Or is it nothing more than the Republicans trying to stage a protest ahead of time in states where the race will be close?

I agree, completely, with Rogers that the real worry I have about all of this is this growing clamor to begin limiting the right to vote -- how perhaps everyone shouldn't have the right to vote. That it should be limited to certain types of people.

Have we come so far in 40 years that on the eve of when we're about to elect our first black president, we're witnessing a movement to roll back the voting rights for blacks as well as other minorities, purchased with the blood of innocents?


 

Shelley,

Given that a lot of the fraud involves ACVORN paying people who then turn around and fill in forms themselves - without ever doing any actual registration work - I return to my original question. Are they incompetent fools, or deliberate fraudsters? Pick one.


 

Regardless, why would you - or anyone - support them?

I support ACORN for the same reason I support voter registration drives by church groups. This country should be leading the world in voter turnout, but we're behind 20-25 other nations.

I don't think "problems swirl around ACORN constantly." I think some Republicans make an issue of ACORN every four years with exaggerated claims. As far as I've seen, ACORN has been reasonably diligent in identifying workers who submit fraudulent registrations and supporting their prosecution.


 

James, name me one company that employs 13,000 people that can guarantee the conduct of every one of their employees?

ACORN has identified employees who committed fraud, has worked with state and federal police and prosecutors, has implemented efforts to ensure reliability of results -- but there can never be a 100% guarantee.

The only way to guarantee the results completely is to stop registering people. Not just at ACORN -- every where.


 

Rogers says, "I support ACORN for the same reason I support voter registration drives by church groups."

Church groups urging registration aren't becoming infamous for conducting voter fraud, in *all* its criminal and, or suspect aspects. On the other hand, Acorn is so becoming known and distrusted.

What you hope (faint) in your support, is that your misdirection will distract from the fact that Obama is a *HUGE* Acorn supporter, activist, and lawyer ...

"This country should be leading the world in voter turnout, but we're behind 20-25 other nations."

Much of that is due to the observation that the "individual vote" is a useless gesture, because the Democrats *always* win, and with the help of organizations like Acorn, who use the homeless in droves to negate the votes of "middle America". Your support in fostering that political ennui, through the Democratic party ally, Acorn, is not insignificant. Your blogs demonstrating that support for Acorn reaches a large portion of the internet and RSS community.

Congratulations!

"I don't think "problems swirl around ACORN constantly." I think some Republicans make an issue of ACORN every four years with exaggerated claims. As far as I've seen, ACORN has been reasonably diligent in identifying workers who submit fraudulent registrations and supporting their prosecution."

Too rich! "[E]very four years"? This is the first time I've heard the group mentioned, and because of the close association of Obama with Acorn! Why misdirect on a specious thing like that? Besides, it has been Democrats, since 2000, who have screamed, moaned, and cried their collective eyes-out about "Voter Fraud", not Republicans! Sheesh ... it is inveterate!


 

What you hope (faint) in your support, is that your misdirection will distract from the fact that Obama is a *HUGE* Acorn supporter, activist, and lawyer ...

Obama's not associated with ACORN aside from representing the group as an attorney in a '90s lawsuit.

www.upi.com

The group isn't involved in his campaign's get-out-the-vote effort. They're separate.


 

Let me borrow the hard work done by Kraut on another post to see if it's true that Democrats *always* win."

Since ACORN was founded in 1970...

The Democrats have always won... except when they controlled the House in

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

and the Senate in

1981

1982

1983

1984

1985

1986

1987

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

But, other than those exceptions, the Democrats *always* win.


 

the republicans owned the house and senate in those years, anon.

or were you being sarcastic?


 

Kraut asks, "or were you being sarcastic?"

Unbelievable!

See, Kraut? I say that the appearance of uselessness in voting is due to "Middle America" ennui over having their vote negated by hordes of homeless, activated into voting for Democrats, and using cigarettes and food, even money, as incentives. Of course, this obsessed "anonymou" stalker, hanging off every one of my posts and trying to make me the subject, and who is "anonymously" able to disprove my opinion with his misdirections. That sort of slavish devotion is/must be impelled by some "talent" I posses, and where I can control their responses, and am able to confine it into making me their only subject.

It confirms my swiftian impression of mankind, sad to say ...


 

Rogers, I thought you might be interested in this Salon article. Notice the mention of St. Louis: there's a real effort in St. Louis in particular to inhibit voting in several districts--Republicans have been putting out a call for monitors to "challenge" voters.

Two guesses as to the predominate race in those districts.


 

It has been Democrats who have raised the spectre of Voter Fraud, and in every election since 2000. Washington state Democrats had recount, after recount ordered by the court, and based on possible Voter Fraud, until they finally won the governorship, after the 4th recount.

The Democrats have been shouting "Wolf" about voting for so long, in order to manipulate the process, that when they are called on the same "Toot", usually reserved for the tactically whining Democrats, well you all go ballistic - ignore the reality - and bring up the frightening image of the hated Vote Bete Noire: Republicans.

Acorn is in the news for voter fraud, in a variety of aspects, and the Democrats start crying:

"Republicans are making the sky fall! The sky is falling because of Republicans!"

Then, of course partisan racists accuse Republicans of being of the actually racists, not members of the finger pointing, partisan ilkr ilk! It is just more Leftist, freudian projection ... you need the "poor" and members of "minority races" to hold up as being the fault of Republicans ... while it is the control of the Democrat congress since the '30s which has FAILED to save the "poor" and the "races"!

Instead, you've institutionalized the poor and set in ghettos the various minority races ... while you rob the rest of us with the power that comes from the end of the IRS assault rifle to pay for it, and yammer and pule for more!


 

I'm not anonymous... as I've stated before, "anon" is a word, not an abberviation. I don't expect you to know that though - it's a word smart people used to use.

And there you go again trying to make me the topic rather than admit you got owned.

"It has been Democrats who have raised the spectre of Voter Fraud" Wrong again. Unfortunately time and again your opinion-based arguments shrivel up when the actual facts are revealed.

Dude, you're really bad at this. McCain-at-a-debate bad.


 

OOPS!

Speaking of McCain, two years ago he spoke in front of ACORN and said "you are what makes America special."

Watch the tape of it and be sad that you got owned. Again.


 

This is absurd. ACORN has a long history of voter registration fraud. You look foolish defending them and trying to lay blame on those big, bad evil Republicans. The record speaks for itself.

They are clearly incompetent because they go through this same process year after year. Why can't they reform themselves? Why do you DEFEND a group that refuses to reform it's methods? Why are you essentially promoting the waste of taxpayer dollars instead of getting ACORN to reform itself?

I'm sorry but it sickens me to see The Guardian and individual progressives defend this group. Don't you people realize how bad your defense of this bunch of idiots makes other progressive look? Seriously. You're a Republican caricature of a worthless liberal: Excusing incompetence. Playing the victim (it's the Republicans fault, not ACORNs!) Callously wasting taxpayer dollars. Don't you realize that because people like you have continued to enable ACORNs incompetence they are now hurting Senator Obama? That's right, ACORN is getting more news coverage this year than ever because once again, they can't get their act together and unfortunately Senator Obama has an association with them (no matter how minor). Nice going. If Senator Obama ends up losing because people think he's shady, I'm going to pin the blame on fellow progressives like YOU.

If you're really interested in promoting voter registration in an ETHICAL, COMPETENT MANNER check out speakingtruth2power.org:
www.speakingtruth2power.org

They are a group of former ACORN employees that want to reform ACORN. Unlike YOU, they are responsible progressives.


 

Rogers,

Registering to vote couldn't be easier now. If you can get a license to drive (and nearly everyone in the US does), you can get registered to vote. Acorn is "solving" a non-existent problem. The reason turnout is low is because people don't want to vote - whether they are registered or not.

Ponder that the next time your heart bleeds for groups like Acorn, and ask yourself why so many people - particularly in urban settings that have been dominated by the Democrats for decades - aren't motivated to vote. Maybe it's because, based on what they see in their own communities, they've lost faith in government.


 

ACORN has signed up 1.3 million new voters for this election, including 148,000 in Pennsylvania, 152,000 in Florida, 217,000 in Michigan and 238,000 in Ohio. Most are low to moderate income, 60-70 percent are black or Hispanic, and more than half are under the age of 30. (Stats courtesy of OpenLeft.)

Though some people think that voter registration is easy and doesn't require outside help from groups like ACORN, I think these numbers show otherwise. Getting more people to vote is patriotic.

Last night, John McCain said in the debate that ACORN is "now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy." I think this perfectly sums up the quadrennial bout of hysteria that Republicans engage in over the non-existent problem of voter fraud.


 

"Last night, John McCain said in the debate that ACORN is "now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy." I think this perfectly sums up the quadrennial bout of hysteria that Republicans engage in over the non-existent problem of voter fraud."

Also shows McCain talking out both sides of his mouth, too. The man doesn't seem to realize that his record is online, and people factcheck what he says.

How many government investigations, in-depth news articles and so on must be published before people finally realize that there is no mass attempt to defraud this election; that most people who vote fraudulently have done so mistakenly; that the greater danger to our country is the growing interest in disenfranchising the lower income and the minorities.

I have to ask the Republicans who read this, Rogers: is fear your only motivation for voting? Fear of terrorists, of people taking the election, of people who are different, or social programs to help all the people, not just the privileged few? If we continue to let the Republicans dominate, we'll become a country where the scared and selfish dominate.

Sad.


 

If McCain so despises Acorn, why did he agree to speak to them in 2006, and why did he say to an assembled crown that Acorn and groups like them are "are what makes America special"?

Click the link and watch it for yourself.

When he was courting the minority vote, John McCain thought Acorn was "special" but two years later when the polls show that minorities won't vote for him he suddenly thinks Acorn is "destroying the fabric of democracy."

What a maverick.


 

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