The Blog

Obama GOTV Group and Voter Fraud

3:15 PM, Oct 8, 2008 • By BRIAN FAUGHNAN
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Jim Geraghty points to a story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer about the voter-registration group ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. It seems that in the process of soliciting, collecting, reviewing and turning in registration applications, it really can't do much about fraud:

A national voter-registration group admitted to Cuyahoga County election officials Tuesday that it cannot eliminate fraud from its operation.

The group blamed inefficiency and lack of resources for problems such as being unable to spot duplicate voter-registration cards or cards that may have been filled out by workers to make quotas.

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, has turned in at least 65,000 cards to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections in the last year. The board has investigated potentially fraudulent cards since August.

The group has faced similar inquiries in other large Ohio counties. And Nevada state authorities recently raided ACORN's Las Vegas headquarters searching for evidence of fraud, according to the Associated Press.

...Cuyahoga election workers flagged about 50 names on suspicious cards. The cards were to register the same names, raising the possibility that canvassers shared information when trying to make quotas.

...Kris Harsh, ACORN's head Cleveland organizer, blamed the elections board for not scrutinizing ACORN's suspicious cards. He said the group can't be expected to catch everything.

"None of us have ever achieved perfection," Harsh said.

I don't think many of us expect perfection, but it would be encouraging if it didn't look so much like ACORN was facilitating fraud. Reports of fraudulent registrations by ACORN have come in for years, and they are legion in this cycle. There are accusations of fraud against ACORN in Connecticut, Wisconsin, and Nevada. That's four states in less than one week.

Barack Obama formerly represented ACORN and taught classes for their future leaders. While he served on the Board of Directors of the Woods Foundation, that group received about $200,000 from ACORN. When he began his presidential run, Obama paid ACORN more than $800,000 to help 'Get Out the Vote'--although it was not originally reported that way to the FEC.

Shouldn't the practitioner of a 'new style' of politics be concerned about this lawbreaking?