The Associated Press reports that a “senior law enforcement official confirmed” the FBI has opened an investigation into whether ACORN has violated federal law by fostering “voter registration fraud around the nation before the presidential election.”
In light of the FBI investigation, the McCain campaign released a statement:
- The total disclosure of all funds, including $832,000 from Barack Obama's campaign to ACORN and ACORN affiliations like Citizens Services, Inc.
- Any and all information the Obama campaign has related to ACORN's database of registered voters compiled during this election cycle.
- The total disclosure of coordination between Barack Obama's campaign, ACORN, and ACORN affiliations over the entirety of this election cycle. *
- The truth behind ACORN's hiring of get-out-the-vote workers on Barack Obama's behalf in Ohio during this election cycle.
In the spirit of a fair election Barack Obama should assist in this process prior to Election Day.
What’s old is new again.
Last night, I attended a panel discussion, “Stealing the Vote in 2008,” organized by Demos and the Institute for Public Knowledge, among others. Prof. Frances Fox Piven, co-author of the forthcoming book, “Keeping Down the Black Vote: Race and the Demobilization of American Voters,” observed:
It makes sense to try to win elections that way…You try to suppress those groups that are likely to vote for your opponent.
Voter suppression is institutionalized in the American voter registration and balloting system…It’s become important since blacks have become a voting bloc. The surge of blacks and young people is threatening to topple the Republican business machine.
Piven’s co-author, Prof. Lorraine Minnite, added:
The story of ACORN and voter fraud is a classic case of using fraud to either block election reform or dampen down the vote. To sow confusion in people’s minds about what is going to happen.
And what is likely to happen is chaos at the polls. ACORN’s sloppy voter registration practices have gummed up the process. Some newly registered voters’ names may not appear on official voter lists by Election Day.
There will be confusion as poll workers try to figure out who’s eligible to vote. This will, in turn, lead to longer waits for all voters, some of whom may get discouraged and leave before casting a ballot.
To ease the tension, voters may be given a provisional ballot. But provisional ballots are a “trapdoor to disenfranchisement.” In the Ohio presidential primary, for instance, more than 123,000 provisional ballots were cast. Electionline.org found that only 80 percent of them were actually counted.
It bears remembering that the 2000 Florida presidential election was decided by 537 votes. So, from the nutty myth of “voter fraud” may come an election too close.