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I just don't know what to say about this. 40% of new voters signed up by ACORN in Harris County have been rejected by the Republican controlled Elections office. ACORN submitted 35,000 new voters and 14,000 of those were rejected. Many of you know that Houston, TX is the county seat of Harris and this is a HUGE number considering how close county wide elections were in 2006. Lord only knows how many total new registrants were rejected from other organizations. Not to mention this is occuring all over the United States.

Mr. Bettencourt claims:

About half of the 14,000 ACORN applications that were rejected in Harris County were missing required information such as the potential voter's address, date of birth and Texas driver's license number, said Paul Bettencourt, the county's voter registrar and tax assessor-collector. Another 3,800 applicants already were registered to vote.

http://www.chron.com/...

This is Pure BULL-CRAP! Voter applicants CAN NOT be rejected for not having a state ID or drivers license if you provide your social security number!

the following identification information:
(a) the applicant’s Texas driver’s license number or the number of a
personal identification card issued by the Department of Public Safety;
(b) if the applicant has not been issued a number described in
paragraph (a), the last four digits of the applicant’s social security number;

http://www.naacpldf.org/...

Mr. Bettencourt goes on to say that they don't keep track of why applications were incomplete and it's not their job to do so. These new applicants can't re register now that the deadline has passed. In my opinion this is a widespread attempt by republicans to disenfranchise voters. ACORN is the target and this is taking place ALL over the nation.

In Harris County, Republicans are very close to losing their grip on local offices. Take a look at the election results for Harris County in 2006, Democrats came really close to defeating Republicans in many races.

Justice, 14th Court of Appeals District, Place 6    
REP 286,575 51.98%
DEM 264,679 48.01%

District Judge, 80th Judicial District (Unexpired)    
REP 289,038 52.31%
DEM 263,507 47.68%

District Judge, 183rd Judicial District    
REP 284,405 51.66%
DEM 266,081 48.33%

District Judge, 185th Judicial District    
REP 292,534 53.09%
DEM 258,422 46.90%

District Judge, 189th Judicial District    
REP 284,511 51.56%
DEM 267,265 48.43%

District Judge, 232nd Judicial District    
REP 289,249 52.76%
DEM 258,927 47.23%

District Judge, 245th Judicial District    
REP 278,586 50.61%
DEM 271,805 49.38%

District Judge, 248th Judicial District    
REP 286,494 52.27%
DEM 261,511 47.72%

Family District Judge, 315th Judicial District    
REP 280,850 51.35%
DEM 266,040 48.64%

http://elections.sos.state.tx.us/...

In 2006 we also saw Tom Delay's heavily republican district fall into the hands of Democrat Nick Lampson. What's at stake this year in Harris County? Multiple U.S. House Seats, a U.S. Senate Seat, County Judgeships, District Attorney, County Attorney, County Clerk, County Tax Assessor who is in charge of voters registration. Again, this is a Prime Example of why the Republicans are targeting ACORN... They are DISENFRANCHISING PEOPLE!!!

Originally posted to HouTxLib on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 10:27 AM PDT.

Poll

Will Republicans use ACORN to keep it close?

41%57 votes
26%36 votes
25%34 votes
6%9 votes

| 136 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I trust the right people are doing something (7+ / 0-)

    about this -that is crap!!

  •  This really makes me sick and angry (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anotherdemocrat, Daily Activist

    I guess all I can do is work harder.

    Choose Hope not Hate in 2008, Reject McCain/Palin

    by HouTxLib on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 10:32:31 AM PDT

  •  I know folks here are rabid about this stuff (8+ / 0-)

    but I want to point out that the quote actually says "such as driver's license number ..." It's entirely possible those applications contained neither SSN nor driver info. Looks to me as though the ACORN folks there were incredibly sloppy, if not making thing up.

    •  and without DOB... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Floande

      ...it absolutely must be rejected.

      Many registrations here -- especially if the registrant decides to fill it out without the aid of a canvasser who knows what he/she is doing -- are rejected because the applicant forgets to sign it.

      The way to win is not to move to the right wing; the way to win is to move to the right policy. -- Nameless Soldier

      by N in Seattle on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 10:42:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  missing addresses? c'mon.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weasel

      required information such as the potential voter's address, date of birth

      If these voter registrations were without an address, then they REALLY aren't properly filled out.  But, what are the chances that this really happened?  Doesn't whomever accepts the registration usually look it over and sees that this info is on the form?  I know I did, when I was registering people.  

      This all sounds really bogus, if you ask me.

      Addresses?  Really?  Prove it.  

      Without the State providing the forms of those disallowed, we'll never know why it was kicked back.

      The apocalypse will require substantial revision of all zoning ordinances. - Zashvill Political compass -7.88 -7.03.

      by Heiuan on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 10:44:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If I didn't have a license... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Involuntary Exile

      Yes, we have a flawed system, yes Harris county is probably trying to justify caging under the false flag of 'preventing fraud'. However:

      If I didn't have a driver's license, there is no way I would put my SSN on a form, unless I had some idea of the chain of possession.

      I would put my SSN down if I were handing it into the voter registration office...But putting all my personal info down when I don't know who is handing me the form opens me to identity theft risks.

      I like the North Dakota system: No voter registration, just a requirement for residency and citizenship.

      Comments Signature: This will get attached to your comments.

      by Gravedugger on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 10:44:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even just the last 4 digits of your SSN? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sccs

        As mentioned in the diary's body.

        Why did we bother to defeat the Soviet Union if we were just going to become it? -- Molly Ivins, RIP, January 31, 2007

        by dewtx on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 11:02:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)

          I will make no part of my SSN available. I am overly paranoid, but it still makes me uncomfortable.

          A social security number is xxx-xx-xxxx, or area number-group number-serial number.

          The area number and group number are roughly based on geographic location of birth and date of birth. With all the information on a voter registration form, my complete SSN can be identified merely by finding out which hospital I was born in.

          I know, its a stretch, and it is a lot of work, given the piles of SSA data that has to be parsed, but the SSN is used for far too many things, and I do try and keep some control over high-risk personal information.

          Comments Signature: This will get attached to your comments.

          by Gravedugger on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 11:18:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Ummm (5+ / 0-)

    If home addresses are missing, that's not a good thing.

    "You know, God bless him, bless his heart, president of the United States, a total failure."

    by RandySF on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 10:34:42 AM PDT

  •  40% of 35,000? (0+ / 0-)

    I really find it hard to belive that ACORN was that sloppy.

    Choose Hope not Hate in 2008, Reject McCain/Palin

    by HouTxLib on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 10:37:24 AM PDT

    •  I can believe it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      N in Seattle, illinifan17

      They did a horrible job in 2004, doing the same thing.

      "You know, God bless him, bless his heart, president of the United States, a total failure."

      by RandySF on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 10:39:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Really, when they are paying low, piece-work (0+ / 0-)

      wages for registrations?  I think the 60% is an excellent result, given these conditions.

      So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard -6.88, -5.33

      by illinifan17 on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 10:40:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Paid by the hour. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        illinifan17, Floande

        ACORN pays their people are paid by the hour, not per registration, in an attempt to lessen the fraud by their workers.  From ACORN's October 10th press release

        Fact: Our canvassers are paid by the hour, not by the card . ACORN has a zero-tolerance policy for deliberately falsifying registrations, and in the 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.

        "Any nation that can survive what we have lately in the way of government, is on the high road to permanent glory." - Molly Ivins

        by Involuntary Exile on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 10:59:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for the correction. Their policy (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Involuntary Exile

          statement acknowledges that they have workers who fill out bad cards.  Of course, the law requires ACORN to turn these in, even when they know they are bad.  I don't think the ACORN organization is dishonest.  I just think they have procedures that are going to produce some bad cards.  They are also designed to produce a high volume thought, whcich gets good results even at 60%.

          So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard -6.88, -5.33

          by illinifan17 on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 11:15:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  OK (0+ / 0-)

    missing required information such as the potential voter's address, date of birth and Texas driver's license number, said Paul Bettencourt, the county's voter registrar and tax assessor-collector. Another 3,800 applicants already were registered to vote.

    First, there shouldn't be a problem with the 3,800 already registered to vote.  So were talking about 10,200 and not 14,200.  And why don't the registrations have all the information filled out?  If the address is missing, of course the registration is no good.  

    I'm a f**kin' redneck who likes to snowboard and ride dirt bikes.

    by Mia Dolan on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 10:38:17 AM PDT

  •  From everything I have read and heard about (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    N in Seattle, Floande

    ACORN, this does not sound so bad.  This is an organization that is doing very important work, but they are a little sloppy in their voter registration work.  Hiring people who are not very well trained and paying tem piece-work to do voter registration is begging for such sloppiness.  Given all of this, I think the 60% success rate you have indicated above is a pretty good acheivement.  This is a shotgun approach to voter registration.  We should be happy about the 21,000.  Is it really surprising, given their procedures, that with numbers this large, about 10% of the registrations were people who were already registered.

    So far you present no evidence of disenfranshisement.

    So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard -6.88, -5.33

    by illinifan17 on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 10:38:21 AM PDT

    •  required to submit *all* registration forms (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      illinifan17, sccs, athensga, Floande

      Even the ones that are clearly false or clearly incomplete or clearly fake.

      As I recall, the raided ACORN office in Indiana(?) stated that they had repeatedly informed the state about forms they knew to be incorrect.  But state officials never even attempted to coordinate with them to improve the process.

      The way to win is not to move to the right wing; the way to win is to move to the right policy. -- Nameless Soldier

      by N in Seattle on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 10:46:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right, which is why, along with what I pointed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        N in Seattle

        out above, these kinds of numbers are inevitable.

        I am not even arguing that this is a bad strategy.  If ACORN hired only highly qualified workers, and paid them in a way that discouraged sloppy work, their cost per registration might be higher.  Of course, they might not get as much bad press.

        So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard -6.88, -5.33

        by illinifan17 on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 10:53:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Except in rare... (0+ / 0-)

    ...instances (and unless they are written by a popular diarist), election tampering diaries don't get much play on this site.

    Of course, as far as too many diaries on a semi-meaningless topic drowning all the significant diaires, today is Joe's day (no, not Joe Biden).

    Maybe tomorrow we'll get back to discussing a Houston wingnut trashing thousands of voter registration applications simply because to do so fits a right wing talking point.

    "The thought of [McCain] being president sends a cold chill down my spine."-Senator Thad Cochran, Mississippi Republican.

    by wyvern on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 10:38:30 AM PDT

    •  I think this is a bigger problem (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sccs, wyvern

      Than what we think....Between the purging and this I am concerned.

      Choose Hope not Hate in 2008, Reject McCain/Palin

      by HouTxLib on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 10:43:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Surry but (0+ / 0-)

      a Houston wingnut trashing thousands of voter registration applications simply because to do so fits a right wing talking point.

      You don't know this, and the diarist has offered no evidence that it is true.

      This result fits well with ACORN's approach - produce a huge number of registrations as cheaply as possible.  Their method assumes, and assures, that a fair number will not be valid.  Of course, in this case, 60% (21,000) were, which is good news for us.

      So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard -6.88, -5.33

      by illinifan17 on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 10:44:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The good thing for us (0+ / 0-)

    Is that Obama did his own work, unlike Kerry in 2004.

    "You know, God bless him, bless his heart, president of the United States, a total failure."

    by RandySF on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 10:38:47 AM PDT

  •  My understanding is that... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sccs

    ...ACORN, or perhaps any voter registration gathering group, has to turn in all collected registrations.  It is not up to ACORN to decide which to turn in or not, as you can probably imagine if you think about it.  I cannot speak to whether the officials of the county are doing their job correctly.

    There was a time when John McCain couldn't tell the truth...when he was a POW.

    by just us on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 10:43:14 AM PDT

  •  good post - Harris County Repubs are afraid (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sccs

     especially, and this is sad, a few of their long time highly qualified and skilled judges (yes, there are a couple) - though the recent ones are acolytes of the "law, I don't need no stinking law" to rule for their contributors and benefactors.  

     So, Bettencourt is using his power to try and save them - would that it was even mildly surprising - but more and more are waking up here to see just how slimy things are under the rocks of Republicanism.

  •  Election reform. (0+ / 0-)

    If Republicans can't cheat, they can't get elected.

    Pretty soon, they're going to have to create an entirely new party, because we're going to make Republicans an endangered species.

  •  While ACORN has become a whipping post... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    crazyshirley2100, Floande

    many of their problems could have been avoided had they not paid people to register new voters and gotten volunteers instead.

    ACORN has been wrongly and quite unfairly demonized, but nonetheless, their name is now synonymous in the public's mind with voter registration fraud.  As long as ACORN continues to pay people to register voters, they will continue to get fraudulently completed registrations, ensuring they remain a target of the wingnut right and a distraction that obfuscates Republican voter suppression efforts.

    I sincerely hope ACORN changes course.  They must stop being the story or the real story, voter suppression, will never break through.

    "Any nation that can survive what we have lately in the way of government, is on the high road to permanent glory." - Molly Ivins

    by Involuntary Exile on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 10:48:10 AM PDT

    •  Well said (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Involuntary Exile

      I have stated again and again, that there were days when many of the forms I turned in were 'iffy'.  Sometimes people just fill out the form to talk to you.  They are homeless and lonely, whatever.

      It made me uncomfortable, honestly, when I was put some place where most of the registration forms I was filling out was homeless people.  They pump the numbers up, but are not reliable voters, even when the form goes through.

      The voter registration numbers we get are successful registrations.  This number is wonderfully high and was so before the primary.  We have nothing to fear from the investigation other than maybe a decision to stop paying people to register voters, which I think is a very good idea.

      We are all Droogie....f*ck the AP

      by crazyshirley2100 on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 12:32:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well (0+ / 0-)

      The upshot of that is to say that people cannot be paid to register poor people to vote.  I assume you do not object to the RNC hiring people register voters in rich Republican area.

      I don't accept that rich people should inherently have more access than poor people to elections.

      •  Whenever people are paid to register voters (0+ / 0-)

        or obtain petition signatures you are going to get fraudulent entries irrespective of the location.  The workers are motivated not to commit fraud in the election process but to obtain a paycheck.  For some, sitting home with a phone book and filling out registration forms (or voter petitions) represents the maxim effort they are willing to expend to obtain that paycheck.  It's just a fact one has to contend with when employing the near-unemployable.

        "Any nation that can survive what we have lately in the way of government, is on the high road to permanent glory." - Molly Ivins

        by Involuntary Exile on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 01:10:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure (0+ / 0-)

          But that is true anytime someone is paid for anything.  The proper response to that problem is oversight.  In this case, ACORN should have other staff check on all voter registrations, and they should fire anyone who appears to be submitting phony ones.

          That is exactly what ACORN does.  

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