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Thread: ABC: Acorn fears overblown

  1. #1

    ABC: Acorn fears overblown

    An in-depth look at what John McCain called a threat to our Democracy at the debate last night...

    [QUOTE]
    McCain Acorn Fears Overblown
    Charges of Voter Fraud Are Out of Proportion to Reality, They Say

    By JUSTIN ROOD
    Oct. 16, 2008

    Charges of potential vote fraud volleyed by Republicans, including Sen. John McCain himself, are out of proportion to reality, according to election experts.

    The concerns  raised by the Republican National Committee in daily conference calls with reporters, as well as by McCain himself in Wednesday's debate  focus on the nonprofit group Acorn, whose nationwide voter registration efforts have garnered apparently fraudulent registration cards, some for fictional characters like "Mickey Mouse."

    Acorn, whose registration efforts generally target poor neighborhoods, "is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy," McCain claimed last night, citing Sen. Barack Obama's ties to the group.

    Obama reportedly worked with Acorn when he ran a Chicago-area voter registration drive shortly after graduating from law school, and conducted leadership training with the group. During the primaries, Obama's campaign paid an Acorn-affiliated group $800,000 for get-out-the-vote efforts, which reportedly did not include voter registration. The group's political arm has endorsed Obama's candidacy.

    But McCain's voter fraud worries  about Acorn or anyone else  are unsupported by the facts, said experts on election fraud, who recall similar concerns being raised in several previous elections, despite a near-total absence of cases.

    [B]"There's no evidence that any of these invalid registrations lead to any invalid votes," said David Becker, project director of the "Make Voting Work" initiative for the Pew Charitable Trusts.

    Becker should know: he was a lawyer for the Bush administration until 2005, in the Justice Department's voting rights section, which was part of the administration's aggressive anti-vote-fraud effort.

    "The Justice Department really made prosecution of voter fraud of this sort a big priority in the first half of this decade, and they really didn't come up with anything," he said.[/B]

    "We're chasing these ghosts of voter fraud, like chickens without a head," said Lorraine Minnite, a political science professor at Barnard College in New York who has researched voter fraud and fraud claims for most of the past decade. "I think it's completely overblown, I think it's meant to be a distraction."

    "This stuff does not threaten the outcome of the election," said Minnite. "How many illegal ballots have been cast by people who are fraudulently registered to vote? By my count, it's zero. I just don't know of any, I've been looking for years for this stuff."

    Vote Tampering and Fraud Sees Seven or Eight Convictions a Year, Says Expert

    For all types of vote tampering and fraud, including vote buying, Minnite says the Justice Department has averaged seven or eight convictions a year.

    Despite the experts' opinions, a McCain-Palin campaign spokesman reiterated that their concern was real. In cases like absentee voting, "there's no way of knowing whether [voters] are who they say they are," said the spokesman, who declined to be identified.

    So far, one case of alleged vote fraud has been reported in this election: On Sept. 30, an Ohio man reportedly attempted to vote using the state's early-voting process, who registered under a fake address, according to the New York Post. However, the state's bipartisan election board was downplaying concerns over such fraud, according to the paper.

    Acorn has defended its efforts by pointing out that it has reported "almost all" of the bogus cards itself, and noting that McCain had supported the group's efforts in other areas in the past. "Repeating a lie doesn't make it true," read a statement the group released last night in response to McCain's attack, "and the McCain campaign has resorted to the worst type of deceptions in regards to Acorn."

    And while the RNC has labeled Acorn a "quasi-criminal group," not all Republicans share their party's concern. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, whom McCain once reportedly considered as a running mate, told a reporter recently that he wasn't worried by Acorn's registration efforts in his state.

    Even the non-partisan truth-in-politics Web site FactCheck.org called foul on McCain's alleged possible conspiracy, noting that a Republican prosecutor handling a key Acorn registration fraud case has said there's no evidence indicating the group was involved in vote fraud.

    "This scheme was not intended to permit illegal voting," said King County, Wash. Prosecutor Dan Satterberg in a 2007 statement, after a federal-state investigation found seven Acorn workers had submitted over 1,700 bogus voter registration forms.
    [/QUOTE]

    [url]http://www.abcnews.go.com/Blotter/Story?id=6049529&page=1[/url]

  2. #2
    JetsInsider.com Legend
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    Only Republicans Steal Elections.

  3. #3
    [I]Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, whom McCain once reportedly considered as a running mate, told a reporter recently that he wasn't worried by Acorn's registration efforts in his state.[/I]

    Well that's proof right there that registering early American settlers, pets in animal shelters, and Mickey Mouss to vote isn't so bad after all. It's patriotic.

  4. #4
    [QUOTE=Warfish;2807701]Only Republicans Steal Elections.[/QUOTE]

    Not my point at all.

    I've never once posted here about Diebold et al and I've never been one to moan about "voter suppression" either (although this, like vote fraud, was once quite common as recently as the 1960s).

    Every election we have the same song and dance: Democrats whine about suppression, Republicans about fraud. No significant documentable examples of either are ever produced.

    (See Alberto Gonzalez's resignation-in-disgrace as an example about how thin and trumped up these cases usually are.)

    And the moaning is always loudest from the losing side.

    This is the latest episode in a kabuki dance that occurs every single year.

  5. #5
    JetsInsider.com Legend
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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2807717]I've never once posted here about Diebold[/QUOTE]

    Well, sorry my friend but you get the same standard i get when folks whine "I never attack Conservatives".

    If you didn't speak out against Tanny's "Diebold Stole the Election for Republicans Theory", then one can only assume you agree.;)

  6. #6
    [QUOTE=Warfish;2807719]Well, sorry my friend but you get the same standard i get when folks whine "I never attack Conservatives".

    If you didn't speak out against Tanny's "Diebold Stole the Election for Republicans Theory", then one can only assume you agree.;)[/QUOTE]

    Heh.

  7. #7
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    [QUOTE]"There's no evidence that any of these invalid registrations lead to any invalid votes," said David Becker, project director of the "Make Voting Work" initiative for the Pew Charitable Trusts.[/QUOTE]

    That's pretty much the crux of the argument in a nutshell. Not to excuse the conduct of the ACORN members in question, but most of this stems from trying to meet new voter registration quotas. There aren't any invalid votes being placed, and the election is not being affected in one direction or the other.

  8. #8
    JetsInsider.com Legend
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    [QUOTE=parafly;2807725]That's pretty much the crux of the argument in a nutshell. Not to excuse the conduct of the ACORN members in question, but most of this stems from trying to meet new voter registration quotas. There aren't any invalid votes being placed, and the election is not being affected in one direction or the other.[/QUOTE]

    Do you believe DIEBOLD stole the 2000 or 2004 Elections, or in any way "allowed invalid votes to be placed, or the election to be effected'?

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=Warfish;2807730]Do you believe DIEBOLD stole the 2000 or 2004 Elections, or in any way "allowed invalid votes to be placed, or the election to be effected'?[/QUOTE]

    No. But, I do believe that the US Supreme Court gave away the election in 2000.

  10. #10
    [QUOTE=parafly;2807734]No. But, I do believe that the US Supreme Court gave away the election in 2000.[/QUOTE]

    2000 is a different animal. Not a case of voter fraud or voter suppression.

    A clusterf#ck all its own.

  11. #11
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    "Sept. 30, an Ohio man reportedly attempted to vote using the state's early-voting process, who registered under a fake address, according to the New York Post. However, the state's bipartisan election board was downplaying concerns over such fraud, according to the paper."

    Joe The Plumber strikes again! :D

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