Saturday, October 18, 2008

Acorn Followed the Law; It's Just That Acorn's Workers Did Not

In today's Indianapolis Star there is a story on voter fraud very misleading headline "Acorn followed the law on suspect registrations."

It's one of those cases where the headline doesn't match the story. The piece written by Tim Evans notes that Acorn followed the law when it turned in registrations the organization had collected that appeared to be phony. I'm not sure when anyone, knowledgeable about Indiana election law, has ever suggested otherwise. The problem, which Evans notes, is in the creation of phony registrations, which is in itself a crime. If Acorn knows that they have people out there creating fraudulent registrations, yet does nothing to stop those workers, the organization could certainly be held responsible.

Evans quotes Nathaniel Persily, a Columbia Law School professor, as saying registration fraud is very different from actual voter fraud, which occurs at the polls. "The effect is not going to change the outcome of the election or allow imaginary people to vote," he said.

I am not sure why the quote from Persily is helpful to the article. There is no indication he has any knowledge of Indiana election law or how elections are conducted in Indiana. Contrary to Persily's claim, if fake names are on the voter registration lists, there is nothing to prevent people from voting on their behalf via absentee or at the many polling places where the voter ID requirement is not enforced.

Contrary to Democratic sentiment, as I wrote previously, having accurate voter lists with only real, eligible voters is essential to the integrity of the electoral process. Indianapolis has 105% registration now. Even if you were to purge all voters who haven't voted in the last 4 years, the voter registration rate for Indianapolis would still be approximately 92%. Does anyone really believe the voter registration rate for Marion County is that high? Obviously the lists are filled with duplicates and, in many cases, fake registrations. It simply is not true, as is suggested in the article, that every voter registration application is subject to a substantial verification process before the name of the voter is added to the voter rolls. Even if a county clerk wanted to, it would be impossible to complete that process in the short time period before the close of registration and the printing of the poll books.

Republicans are going to be shocked on Election Day to see the Democratic numbers coming out of Marion and Lake Counties. I'm predicting those two counties will leave Gov. Daniels in a 110,000 vote hole. McCain's hole will be even deeper. After 2008, Indiana may be the new Florida when it comes to questions regarding the integrity of the voting process in the state.


Anonymous said...

So if you're driving 100 mph in a 65 mph zone, it's the car that's breaking the law? At least the car was 65% compliant.

Chris Worden said...

Can you help me on this issue?

Isn't ACORN required by state law to submit to election official any registration it receives from its employees? And isn't ACORN the identifier of most of the bogus registrations, including here in Indiana.

ACORN said it has fired workers who submitted bogus registrations. Can any source in the entire country refute ACORN's claim that every worker who submitted registrations that it learn were bogus were fired?

I agree with you, Mr. Ogden, that a good voter list is a good idea, but I'm not sure I see the "sky is falling" fear of Camp McCain.

Can you explain how Jimmy Johns will actually vote? Seriously, how do you convert a bogus registration into a bogus vote with our current voter ID law?

As I have no real fear that this will happen, it's hard for me to get exercised about it, even if there are a lot of bogus registrations. (The only thing that will happen is we'll not get an accurate turnout percentage).

Accordingly, I like the car driving analogy. If I saw 100 Daniels supporters driving 80 in a 65, I wouldn't say Daniels isn't fit to be Governor because he associates with people who speed. Nor would I do everything in my power to keep the media's attention focused on this group of law breakers....unless I was really desperate and knew I had nothing else to say.

Thank you in advance for your thoughts.