10/24/08

U.S. corrupted by shoddy voter registration

More ACORN stories: hereVoter-fraud stories: here

Democracy fails due to 3rd-party registration by corrupt special interest groups

More than 43,000 Minnesotans have registered to vote this year through ACORN, the group that has come under Republican attack over voter registration irregularities around the nation.

But despite calls by state and national GOP groups to investigate ACORN, election officials in Hennepin and Ramsey counties say there is scant evidence of fraud, other than a few hundred late registration filings.

There are other kinds of problems. ACORN workers acknowledge that as many as a third or more of the registration applications they turn over to election officials are rejected for technical reasons, such as incomplete names, addresses and phone numbers. But they say that is not fraud.

Still, with 11 days to go before the election, ACORN's historic ties to Barack Obama and other Democrats have prompted GOP officials in Minnesota and elsewhere to raise questions about the group's voter registration work, questions that Democrats see as an orchestrated campaign to sling mud and suppress voter turnout.

The controversy was highlighted by Republican hopeful John McCain, who said in a recent presidential debate that ACORN's voter registration activities "may be destroying the fabric of democracy."

The issue of voter fraud has a long partisan history, including the Bush administration's firings of nine U.S. attorneys, among them David Iglesias of New Mexico, who clashed with GOP loyalists over his handling of voter fraud cases involving workers for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, ACORN's official name.

The issue was brought home to Minnesota in the past week as state Republican Party Chairman Ron Carey demanded that Hennepin and Ramsey county election officials disclose any information they have about problems involving ACORN, saying "this group has brought its record of fraudulent, reckless and misleading activities to our state."

(startribune.com)

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