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are not the efforts of ACORN. It is that because we put so many barriers up to voting, especially for minorities, that our democracy is not fully representative.   That is the thrust of today's lead  New York Times editorial,  entitled THe Acorn Story.   The times wondered about the basis of the wild charges by McCain that

Acorn is "on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history" and "may be destroying the fabric of democracy."

  After an examination of the available information, the Times writes

Based on the information that has come to light so far, the charges appear to be wildly overblown — and intended to hobble Acorn’s efforts.

Remember - hobbling Acorn's efforts means restricting the number of low-income, primarily minority, new registrations.  That is part of the real threat. Let me explore further.

 The Times explores the particulars of the charges, reporting Acorn's contention that most of the forms about which there has been so much noise are precisely those its supervisors flagged as problematic.  And remember, while the Times does not say this Acorn and anyone else doing such voter registration is required to turn in ALL forms collected including those that are clearly fraudulent.  

Let me explore this point.  I am well aware that the rules of this site require that extraordinary charges require extraordinary evidence.  Thus what I am about to offer is not a charge per se, but a speculation about a possibility. Let me set it up.

  1.  in the US Attorney's firing scandal, the key issue was the willingness or lack thereof of US Attorneys to bring charges of election fraud:  those who did not were, like David Iglesias, forced out.   That is documented.
  1.  One group specifically targeted in those efforts was ACORN.  That is also documented.

Now comes the speculative part.

  1. We are seeing an aggressive effort by Republicans, both rhetorically and now legally, to go after ACORN.  That has included raiding one set of ACORN offices in a swing state, the rhetoric from the McCain campaign and others, and investigations by the FBI.
  1.  The basis of these actions is supposedly the clearly problematic forms which ACORN itself had flagged.
  1. Karl Rove and his acolytes (Steve Schmidt, anyone?) have a track record of doing odd things:  remember that back in Texas Rove apparently bugged his own office in order to be able to file a complaint against Texas Democrats.
  1.  Everyone knew that the Obama campaign and progressive organizations were making a real effort to increase registration, especially among minorities.

NOW - my tin foil hat wondering aloud:  is it possible that at least some of the problematic registrations are the result of a deliberate attempt by Republicans, a Rovian action, to discredit an organization known to be effective in outreach to minorities communities, perhaps even to through out large numbers of otherwise valid registrations in hopes of undercutting Democratic chances in swing states?  And even if not disqualifying a sufficient number of the new registrations, of providing a basis to challenge anyone registered by such groups, thereby fouling up election day procedures?  Remember, Republicans have a history of challenging and threatening minority voters.  Think Rehnquist in Arizona early in his career, or even the 1st gubernatorial campaign of the supposedly sainted Tom Kean in NJ with uniformed personnel flashing badges and claiming they were "ballot security" personnel as they tried to dissuade minority voters in inner cities from voting. And if nothing else, generating news stories critical of ACORN helping to dissuade some weaker independents from voting for Obama:  remember, they are a community organizing group, he was a community organizer, thus - wink, wink, hint, hint - he must have something to do with it and he must be similarly corrupt.

That's the end of this piece of speculation.  But it is part of the larger context to which I will return soon enough.

The Times editorial makes clear that there is no "virtually no evidence" anywhere in any election cycle of people who are not entitled showing up at the polls and voting.   And the editorial immediately notes Republican silence on another, more serious, voter registration scandal, that approximately one-third of those eligible are NOT registered to vote:

According to a study by Project Vote, a voting-rights group, in 2006, 71 percent of eligible whites were registered, compared with 61 percent of blacks, 54 percent of Latinos and 49 percent of Asian-Americans.

   Here it is worth noting that traditionally about 9 in 10 African Americans who vote cast their ballots for Democrats.  Hispanics have of course been a more contested group, although this cycle, in part because of Republican positions on immigration, including McCain abandoning his own immigration reform bill, they seem to be splitting about 2-1 for Obama.  

The editorial rightly criticizes overly restrictive registration rules for the low rate of minority registration, and illustrates this by referencing the League of Women Voters, which abandoned a voter registration effort in Florida "after the state imposed onerous new requirements."

Ultimately, the Times points out,

The answer is for government to a better job of registering people to vote. That way there would be less need to rely on private registration drives, largely being conducted by well-meaning private organizations that use low-paid workers. Federal and state governments should do their own large-scale registration drives staffed by experienced election officials. Even better, Congress and the states should adopt election-day registration, which would make such drives unnecessary.

Election-day registration - what a novel idea.   NOT!  Since we have states that allow it, or are even more flexible.  One reason Obama may win North Dakota is because that state requires NO registration, merely proof of thirty day's residence in the precinct.  

And it is not just registration.  It is easier access to voting.  For more than a decade Oregon has had vote by mail, although you can drop your ballot off if you have doubts about USPS.   And increasingly states allow early voting, or very flexible absentee voting which can be equivalent either to voting by mail and/or early voting.  

Remember, we vote on a workday during the week.  Many Western democracies vote on weekends, or make election day a national holiday.  Our polls are often open for limited hours: in some places polls close at 6 PM local time.  And it is very easy to discourage participation by having insufficient voting machinery in a precinct likely to be dominated by your political opposition, as we saw with Ohio for example in 2004, where some people were online for more than 12 hours.  

Those lines can be increased by several other tactics designed to discourage the opposition from voting.  Checking people in can be facilitated by splitting the alphabet into three or four or even five sections in large precincts, and slowed to a crawl by having only one set of registration books.  The recent 6th Circuit decision seems to require the state to provide (by today!) computerized access to check registration against drivers license and social security administration, but there is as yet no Federal requirement for electronic verification of registration that could result in quicker processing of those online.  And as we discovered in Florida in 2000, the process can be manipulated even when there is electronic access.  WITHIN COUNTIES using paper ballots that were scanned, White, Republican precincts might have their optical scan machines programmed to reject ballots that had overvotes while those in Black Democratic precincts did not.  White precincts might have laptop computers with up-to-date registration information while Black precincts were required to call in to an overburdened land line telephone to get verification.  These should have been considered violations of equal protection, although SCOTUS made NO ATTEMPT to address these in the process of handling Bush v Gore.

There is something inherently violative of the spirit of a representative democracy in attempting to suppress the vote.  The party or candidate who takes that approach is effectively admitting that s/he (it) lacks the appeal to win if everyone participates.  It does not want a true democracy, it only wants those who support it to participate, to claim the mantle of mandate while preventing a broad election that might well deny it victory.  

I have been consistent in my belief that this is wrong.  I heavily criticized the Clinton campaign, including my friend Tom Vilsack, for its attempt to discourage out of state college students from participating in the Iowa caucuses.  It is in my mind unconscionable for any Democrat to ever seek to suppress the vote.  It is far too reminiscent of things like poll taxes, literacy tests, and the like, and the use of violence and intimidation - tactics used against Blacks in the South, unfortunately by the old Democratic party before the days that started with FDR and culminated with the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act under LBJ.

That the Republican party is willing to use such tactics is despicable.  Every time Republicans float the idea of fraud, we should be challenging their fear that they cannot win an honest election.  Because that is one real issue

One, but not the only one.  

The Times editorial ends with a clear statement:

The real threats to the fabric of democracy are the unreasonable barriers that stand in the way of eligible voters casting ballots.

unreasonable barriers

Our entire electoral process is full of such unreasonable barriers, from restrictive rules on registration, to the ability to foul up the system on election day with challenges, to complicated and confusing rules on voting, such as the ballots in NC which require you to vote separately for president and only then be able to cast a party ballot for other offices.  All of this is even before we consider outright manipulation of the process such as insufficient voting machines, or overly large precincts in minority districts (also designed to lengthen lines), or patently illegal activities like phone jamming and voter caging.

The real threats to democracy are not the efforts of groups like ACORN which seek to expand the participation of those eligible.  The scandal is that it is, despite laws like Motor Voter, still necessary for third party groups to engage in voter registration, because our governments make it so onerous to register.  

Our governments should be actively seeking to register people, to encourage them to vote, so that the actions taken by those elected are representative of the will of the people.

The real threats to democracy begin when we seek to keep people from voting.  

So I have a challenge for those who do so seek:  what are you afraid of?  That your message, your platform, your candidate, is so unappealing that you cannot win a fair election?  Then get a different candidate, run on a different platform, have a better message.  

Lead or get out of the way.

And for all of us, we perhaps should consider the words Lincoln spoke in a very different context, but which might seem dangerously applicable today:  

that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

If the people are prevented from participating, the government that results is not of the people because it is not by the people, at least not all of them.  And such a government therefore is unlikely to address the needs of all, and thus is not for the people

Keep that in mind as we do all we can to turn out every possible vote so that the government officials elected November 4 do represent all the people, and we maintain a truly representative democracy.



Originally posted to teacherken on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:17 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  mojo mug a/k/a tip jar (30+ / 0-)

    for those so inclined.


    do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

    by teacherken on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:18:20 AM PDT

    •  I've been told... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fhcec, NadiasDad, gdwtch52

      I have no inclination, but I do have attitude.

      Once again, a great diary offering from you.

      Its always amazed me the hurdles and hoops of registration that the US places in front of its citizens. In Canada they tie the municipal, federal and provincial voters lists in with the census so there is a permanent voters list that can be amended as needed. No fuss no bother.

      We also get our elections over in 30 to 50 days, and we count (paper ballots!) in three or four hours.


      Palin at the Repub Convention: "It was like watching Gidget address the Reichstag" - Matt Taibbi

      by deepfish on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:23:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks for sharing (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        deepfish, fhcec, NadiasDad

        it amuses me that so many Americans are so blinded by our "exceptionalism" that we are unwilling to learn practical lessons from the experience of other nations.


        do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

        by teacherken on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:24:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "exceptionalism" is another word (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          teacherken, deepfish, billybam

          for "you're better than other people."  It served to mollify a lot of people for a long time until they finally realized that they weren't much better off than the people they were supposed to feel better than.

          That's when they decided that equality makes everyone better off.  

          How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

          by hannah on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:30:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It has always been the Republican way (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to restrict the Franchise.

      My wingnut brother wants only people who have a net tax to the government to be allowed to vote (those who receive more than they pay would be inelegible).


      It all comes down to acquiring and staying in power.

      We need a new opposition party.  The Republican party needs to go the way of the Whigs and the Federalists before them.

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      -Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:49:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  your brother would have to amend Constitution (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        polecat, gdwtch52

        since wording of Poll Tax Amendment would ban an approach such as his.


        do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

        by teacherken on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:50:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, I completely agree (0+ / 0-)

          but it says something about them that they continue to push for limiting the Franchise and erode the boundaries of Democracy.

          Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
          I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
          -Spike Milligan

          by polecat on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 07:43:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  A brief explanation - (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fhcec, MKinTN, beltane, NadiasDad, Druid800

    public schools in Maryland are closed today.  This is the day for the convention of the Maryland State Teachers Association. Also, most of the content area professional organizations have their annual statew-wide meetings.  Thus I was able to sleep in, and did not get up until 8 AM - what a luxury!!!  That is why this diary was written and posted at a time when normally I would be fully engaged in teaching.

    I have no idea how anyone will react, or even how many will see.  While of course I would love a broad audience and a vibrant discussion, I wrote this because I thought the editorial important, albeit somewhat insufficient, and because I thought the issue worthy of discussion.

    Do with this what you will.


    do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

    by teacherken on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:21:30 AM PDT

  •  I am just heartbroken (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken, deepfish

    at the way the right wing has been allowed to hijack our democracy. Do we play their game now, engaging in suppression tactics in areas with high numbers of Christian evangelicals? I don't know the answer, but when only one side plays by the rules you know pretty much in advance what the outcome will be.

    The weak in courage is strong in cunning-William Blake

    by beltane on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:26:15 AM PDT

  •  ACORN is GOP FUD (6+ / 0-)

    "FUD" - for those unfamiliar - being Fear Uncertainty Doubt.  It's what your enemies sow to distract you from your core message.  Obama has been wise enough not to take the bait.

    The scandal is that it is, despite laws like Motor Voter, still necessary for third party groups to engage in voter registration, because our governments make it so onerous to register.

     Absolutely 100% correct.  The biggest fear the GOP has is democracy itself.  They keep the electorate uninformed, and make participation onerous.  They are a party afraid not only of the truth, but of the truth of their own shameful record.

    Dems hold a lot of responsibility, too, though.  It's been 8 years since Bush v. Gore: WHERE THE FUCK ARE MY PAPER TRAILS!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?

    Dear Mr. President, There are too many states nowadays. Please eliminate three.
    P.S. I am not a crackpot.
    -Abe Simpson

    by fromer on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:26:28 AM PDT

  •  I like your tinfoil hat, (6+ / 0-)

    Seems to be vibrating on about the same frequency as mine:)

    Next greatest threats?  An uneducated, uncritical, ill-informed, disengaged electorate.

    Life is not a 'dress rehearsal'!

    by wgard on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:26:56 AM PDT

    •  I'm inclined to think it's counter-productive (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to blame the victims of two decades of deception for not being aware they were lied to.

      John McCain and his gang have woven a web of deception by telling half-truths.

      How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

      by hannah on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:35:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They don't WANT an electorate... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      They want just their people in power, by whatever means.

      Bush said it himself -- that he'd rather be in a dictatorship with himself as the dictator.

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      -Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:50:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  speaking of tinfoil hats!! (0+ / 0-)

      Your electorate qualifications

      An uneducated, uncritical, ill-informed, disengaged electorate.

      is exactly why I think the GOP abhors public education.  
      Defunding public education = GOP voter registration drive.

      •  well, there is another aspect on public education (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        which has several parts

        1. foreclose the opportunity of advancement for those seen as "other"
        1. especially for those who do NOT send kids to public schools, have a rationale for not paying the taxes that support such schools
        1. provide a workforce that is manipulable, and whose wages can be kept down
        1. have a ready pool of conscripts, or officially "volunteers", for our military machine who have no other opportunities for education, meaningful employment, advancement.

        do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

        by teacherken on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 07:59:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I do agree with you on that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          My expression is more of a smart aleck way of looking at it.  But I do agree with you 100%.  As far as I am concerned, excellent public education is what really put this country in the 'driver's seat' so to speak, right after WW2, and what will help us recover and prosper in this century.  I was a product of that in neighboring Fairfax county (I think you teach in Montgomery Co. MD, yes?) in the 60's and don't like the way that the country has turned away from that, or rather has been forced to turn away.  By de-funding schools, the quality is lessened, making the private school more attractive, and for the lucky ones that get vouchers, fine.  But what about the majority that don't?  America is much better served in the long run by a broadly educated public.  I truly want to see a return to that.

          Thanks for your postings.  You are one of the diarists that I always read.

    •  Ihave one just like it.Shiney! n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Democracy is not dead;it merely smells funny

      by sully18 on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 03:23:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, McCain always accuses others of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken, deepfish, fromer

    what he's about.  He and his gang have been working overtime to destroy democracy--i.e. government BY the people.

    It's been a long subversive slog, going all the way back to Richard Nixon.  

    I don't think the American people are going to go for it.

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:27:12 AM PDT

  •  how can the GOP do this to ACORN (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    when McCain wasa speaker at the 2006 Miami Dade ACORN event?

    what am i not understanding about this?

    Boot out Bushbot Barrett, donate to Jane Dyer SC-03 (vet & union member)

    by sc kitty on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:34:53 AM PDT

    •  that McCain is hypocritical? n/t (0+ / 0-)

      do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

      by teacherken on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:38:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ACORN has been a burr under the saddle of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sc kitty

      banks and other financial enterprises because of its support of consumers and the utilization of the Community Reinvestment Act to force institutions to open their books to public inspection.

      Also, in this instance, ACORN has irked McCain because of a judgment in a suit against a sub-prime/payday lender that was argued by a member of the law firm with which Obama is associated.

      One might reasonably suspect that the attack on ACORN is designed to prompt Obama to launch into a strong defense and get distracted from the election effort.  

      It really isn't worth getting too agitated about some falsified voter registration forms.  Mickey Mouse is not going to turn up to vote.  Voter fraud is also a distraction.

      How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

      by hannah on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:43:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  davidkc has a somewhat related diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    whose title is Obama might win...Sarasota?!? in which he discusses how new registrations of minorities and college students are being rejected at a high rate because a new law in Florida requiring a strict match.

    Here I might note that had a similar standard of requiring a strict match been applied in processing the felons list under Katherine Harris as Secretary of State, President Gore would now be completing his 8th year.

    do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

    by teacherken on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:37:47 AM PDT

    •  The bias on the matches is to reject (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      if there is no match -- Instead we should look at it the other way -- compare all of the voting databases and purge the DUPLICATES (exact matches only) and purge the ILLEGAL (depending upon jurisdiction) felons (again exact matches only).

      The burden should be upon the state to PROVE THAT YOU'RE INELEGIBLE not upon the citizen to prove that s/he IS elegible.

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      -Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:52:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's a great, enlightening diary, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken, blue armadillo

    which could open further discussions about the state of affais of democratic practices in the US. In so far as the democratic practices have been constrained by the the ruling elites by preventing less advantaged people from participation, then it's futile to talk about America as the leader of democracy, much less an agent for spreading democracy around the world.

    The ACORN case is a real wake up call for those who are concerned with real democracy: from the people, by the people, and for the people.

  •  Voter registration has become a de facto (0+ / 0-)

    Jim Crow machination.

    People may doubt what you say, but they will always believe what you do.

    by ZedMont on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:52:52 AM PDT

  •  David Iglesias speaks out (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken, blue armadillo

    From TPM

    I'm astounded that this issue is being trotted out again," Iglesias told TPMmuckraker. "Based on what I saw in 2004 and 2006, it's a scare tactic." In 2006, Iglesias was fired as U.S. attorney thanks partly to his reluctance to pursue voter-fraud cases as aggressively as DOJ wanted -- one of several U.S. attorneys fired for inappropriate political reasons, according to a recently released report by DOJ's Office of the Inspector General.

    And he added that it "stands to reason" that the investigation was launched in response to GOP complaints. In recent weeks, national Republican figures -- including John McCain at last night's debate -- have sought to make an issue out of ACORN's voter-registration activities.

    I hope that the Obama administration thoroughly investigates and cleans house at the DoJ. Everybody who got jobs by passing the litmus test over the last 8 years HAS TO GO.

    •  and given it is in response to GOP complaints (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue armadillo

      then, given history of GOP especially given history of Rove, did they take action to create a basis for such complaints?  At this point I have no basis to argue that they did, but given the totality of the scenario I have to at least consider the possibility.

      do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

      by teacherken on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:57:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I believe they did. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blue armadillo

        More from TPM:(bold mine)

        As we noted earlier, last year, Sen. Diane Feinstein publicly highlighted changes made to DOJ's election crimes manual, which lowered the bar for voter-fraud prosecutions, and made it easier to bring vote-fraud cases close to the election.

        Speaking today to TPMmuckraker, Iglesias called such changes "extremely problematic."

        There are DoJ attorneys anonymously leaking information to the press as well.

  •  Well written and complete as usual (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    FWIW, I find the idea that the phony registrations are Republican dirty tricks to lack plausibility in much the same way that the original accusations lack plausibility.

    In both cases, the difficulty of executing the tactic would be extreme.

    I do, of course, think that the accusations against ACORN are dirty tricks.

    Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

    by Actuary4Change on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:55:35 AM PDT

    •  it is not at all hard to imagine (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fhcec, gdwtch52

      the law requires that all applications you receive when out registering must be turned in.

      ACORN and other groups usually do some level of publicizing when and where they are doing registration.

      Knowledge of those two facts make it not at all hard to imagine planting a few phony registrations into the process.  And with the help of a sympathetic registrar the basis of a complaint.

      do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

      by teacherken on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:59:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is it illegal at all (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        IF Mickey Mouse does not show up and attempt to vote??  And what is the remedy for ACORN, if the law says they have to turn in all registrations they recieve?

        If we want peace, why do we give weapons and call it "aid"?

        by gdwtch52 on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 07:16:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  there is no requirement for regist. voter to vote (0+ / 0-)

          so even were Mickey to be registered, there is no voting violation if s/he does not appear, and only a voting violation if s/he shows up to vote and lacks the requisite ears and tail  :-)

          I'm not sure what you mean by remedy for ACORN.   Unless a criminal investigation shows a conspiracy or an action to violate a statute, there is no jeopardy for ACORN.  Now, potentially they might have a defamation suit against those claiming they were abusing the law, but with a criminal investigation pending they would get no action on such a suit.


          Thus perhaps you do need to direct your question to someone who is, and who specializes in election law, like our own Adam B

          do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

          by teacherken on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 07:53:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  i think what is meant... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gdwtch52, MKSinSA

            Acorn can identify the bogus registrations, but cannot toss them - for obvious reasons. The law requires them to turn them all in.

            If there is a plant or a miscreant among people registering voters, Acorn may identify the "bad" registrations, but must turn them in anyhow.

            Then, the DA decides to go after Acorn for bad registrations, and Acorn is in trouble, not the people who did it. And the DA would only decide to do that to make a political point or to harass groups that register voters.

  •  Why separate 'voter' registration ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken, fhcec

    ... when people are already registered as citizens, inhabitants of a certain county, etc. ?

    Let me outline the procedure here in Maartensdijk, the Netherlands.

    I'm a registered inhabitant of this town (if I were not, I would have so many troubles I would be busy all day to rectify that - need electricity ? need gas ? need water / sewage ? need passport ? )

    So in case of election, the municipality's election committee sends me a voter registration card (no need to bother with getting registered).

    I walk up to the voting station at 7:00 in the morning, before heading off to work, card in hand.

    Voting official takes card, checks against independent list of  names / addresses generated by the town administration (in case I'd faked it - no ID necessary; I do not even have a driver's license).

    I vote.

    I leave at 7:05.  Tune in later that evening to radio or read paper next morning to learn election result.

    It seems that the US of A has some 200+ years of experience with elections ... why make it so complicated ???

    •  200+ is right - more like almost 400 (0+ / 0-)

      since the House of Burgesses was established in Virginia in 1619, and by 1700 the extand colonies usually had some forms of local or colony wide assemblies to which people were elected.

      Then again, we did not get around to defining citizenship until 1868 (14th Amendment) and we have a long history of voter suppression.

      One can argue that it is only since 1965 with the Voting Rights Act that we got really serious -  even things like 15th Amendment for Black and 19th Amendment for women did not really change the overall tendency towards trying to keep vote totals down - here in Virginia where I live for several decades in the middle of the last century the Byrd machine worked assiduously to keep the franchise manageable in order to control the mechanisms of government.  

      do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

      by teacherken on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 07:57:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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