Thursday, October 16, 2008

ACORN has done nothing wrong

Afraid that they will lose this election, Republicans have turned ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) into the boogie man. They are making baseless claims that ACORN is perpetuating voter fraud due to its voter registration activities.

The Republican right wing sound bites about ACORN have been expectedly scurrilous. The Republican National Committee's chief lawyer has labeled ACORN a "quasi-criminal organization," and McCain's campaign has launched ads accusing the group of "massive voter fraud" and bullying banks into making risky home loans. As we saw last night in the debate, McCain's camp is also trying to link his opponent, Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, to ACORN.

It is all complete bullshit. Here's what you won't hear in the mainstream media.

ACORN pays people to register voters. Some of these temporary employees find it easier to make up fake prospective voters than actually get off their asses and to the job properly.

ACORN then spends hundreds of hours of staff time verifying the registration forms that they receive. When these are turned over to the local Elections Supervisor, ACORN clearly identifies which forms could not be validated, which were, and which are absolutely suspicious. In some cases, ACORN has helped government officials prosecute the people responsible.

Here are some additional facts:

  • ACORN has helped 1.3 million citizens from all parties and all walks of life apply for voter registration.

  • In most states, ACORN is required by law to turn in every voter registration card - even in cases where the cards are not valid.

  • It is ACORN that has reported almost all of the issues regarding voter registration cards.

  • Invalid voter registration cards do NOT constitute voter fraud. Even RNC General Counsel Sean Cairncross has recently acknowledged he is not aware of a single improper vote cast as a result of bad cards submitted in the course of an organized voter registration effort.

  • A 2005 study by the League of Women Voters and the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio found that only 4 of about 9, 000,000 votes cast in the state from 2002-2004 were fraudulent.
Here is a great analysis of the whole issue by Newsweek's Andrew Romano.

On Wednesday, Oct. 15, ACORN National President Maude Hurd issued the following statement in response to Senator John McCain’s attack:

"We appreciate Senator McCain's effort to stir up the Republican base by attacking a community organization working to increase public participation in our democratic process. However, these attacks reflect an increasingly panicked candidate. Unfortunately, the Senator McCain we saw tonight is very different than the Senator McCain who stood shoulder to shoulder with ACORN at a February 20, 2006 immigration reform event."

Meanwhile, the REAL efforts for voter suppression, perpetrated by the Grand Old Party of weasels continues:

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