NC election officials alert to ACORN

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Union-backed voter fraud group acts with impunity for Barack

Nov. 4 promises to be one of the hardest-fought and most closely contested elections in memory. Many believe North Carolina could be up for grabs in the presidential race, and so every vote cast will be important - and could even have national implications. Remember how important a few votes were in Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004.

So we're pleased to see that Durham elections director Mike Ashe is keeping an eye out for anything inappropriate. Ashe recently asked state officials to check 80 registration forms for possible fraud. It seems the staff was tipped off because one person's signature varied greatly in different places.

The forms were among about 4,000 submitted to the office over the last four to six weeks by a group called Acorn, Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, a liberal, get-out-the-vote organization. Acorn officials are quick to say they train workers to only register legitimate voters and emphasize that misrepresentation is a serious crime and a firing offense.

Still, while the organization may be innocent, Acorn attorney Brian Mellor admitted that some young volunteers "think they're immune."

Since voting is a cherished right and a responsibility, it's appropriate that voter fraud is a serious crime. It's a felony, in fact, punishable by three to 15 months in prison. We hope violators are aggressively prosecuted.

We've said it before, but we think Mike Ashe has done a terrific job with the Board of Elections. Durham elections had a reputation for being bumpy, with late results and equipment problems. But Ashe has captained a taut ship, purging the voting rolls of departed and deceased voters, opening early voting sites and overseeing elections that have been consistently smooth.

The bigger the election, the bigger the challenge for voting officials, and Nov. 4 could prove a record-setter. But big elections are nothing new for Ashe and his staff. The May primary also set records, and the last two presidential elections drew heavy turnout as well.

So don't cheat, but do register and vote. Regular registration is open until October 10, and after that, you can still register and vote at the one-stop voting sites until three days before the election.

For more information, see http://www.co.durham.nc.us/departments/elec/


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