Vote fraud be­com­ing ram­pant

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

Even with the demise of ACORN, a lot of peo­ple are wor­ried about voter fraud in the 2012 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

That’s be­cause the As­so­ci­a­tion of Com­mu­nity Or­ga­ni­za­tions for Re­form Now has not re­ally gone away since two young con­ser­va­tives pos­ing as a pimp and a pros­ti­tute ad­min­is­tered a very painful video sting in 2009. ACORN has trans­mo­gri­fied into lots of lit­tle ACORN groups with mis­lead­ingly in­no­cent names, such as Affordable Hous­ing Cen­ters of Amer­ica (for­merly ACORN Hous­ing Corp.) and New Eng­land United for Jus­tice.

An­other rea­son to worry is that the Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union (ACLU) is work­ing overtime to curb laws de­signed to re­duce il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion and to re­quire vot­ers to present iden­ti­fi­ca­tion. Yes, you can’t cash a check or open a bank ac­count with­out a valid ID, but the ACLU thinks it is some­how “racist” to en­sure that only Amer­i­can cit­i­zens vote in our elec­tions.

That’s why it filed a suit on June 3 to halt Florida’s law short­en­ing the early voter days from 15 to eight be­fore an elec- tion and tight­en­ing reg­is­tra­tion rules.

The ACLU con­tends that re­quir­ing peo­ple to vote within about a week of the ac­tual Elec­tion Day con­sti­tutes “voter sup­pres­sion.”

If you think that’s over the top, lis­ten to plain­tiff Arthe­nia Joyner, a Demo­cratic state sen­a­tor:

“It is un-Amer­i­can to make it a bur­den to vote. Too many peo­ple fought and died for this right. This is an abom­i­na­tion. And it’s un­con­scionable.”

It was just a few years ago that peo­ple were ex­pected to vote on Elec­tion Day and ob­tain ab­sen­tee bal­lots if they couldn’t. Now it’s an “abom­i­na­tion” if they don’t get to vote two weeks ahead of time.

The law Gov. Rick Scott signed is, in part, a re­ac­tion to Florida elec­tion of­fi­cials in 2009 find­ing at least 888 phony voter reg­is­tra­tions sub­mit­ted by ACORN of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing one claimed to be from the late ac­tor Paul New­man. Ar­rest war­rants were is­sued for 11 ACORN em­ploy­ees.

Florida is not alone. In 2007, Wash­ing­ton state filed felony charges against sev­eral ACORN em­ploy­ees and su­per­vi­sors, al­leg­ing more than 1,700 fraudu- lent voter reg­is­tra­tions, Fox News re­ported. In March 2008, a Penn­syl­va­nia ACORN em­ployee was sen­tenced for sub­mit­ting 29 fake voter reg­is­tra­tions. In 2009, a Cleve­land ACORN em­ployee was caught re-reg­is­ter­ing the same per­son 77 times.

Voter fraud in­ves­ti­ga­tions tar­get­ing ACORN were launched in 12 states: Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Michi­gan, Mis­souri, Ne­vada, New Mex­ico, North Carolina, Ohio, Penn­syl­va­nia, Texas and New York.

In Septem­ber 2009, Congress voted to de­fund ACORN, three­quar­ters of whose 2009 bud­get of $24 mil­lion was com­posed of fed­eral money, ac­cord­ing to the Wall Street Jour­nal.

Mean­while, on the im­mi­gra­tion front, the ACLU and other groups are chal­leng­ing Ari­zona-type laws in Utah, In­di­ana, Alabama and Ge­or­gia.

In Alabama on June 2, both houses of the State Leg­is­la­ture passed a law that would re­quire em­ploy­ers to check the legal sta­tus of new em­ploy­ees us­ing the E-Ver­ify sys­tem. Repub­li­can Gov. Robert J. Bent­ley signed the bill.

The Alabama law also would al­low po­lice of­fi­cers to de­tain mo­torists if they have a “rea­son­able sus­pi­cion” that the mo­torists are here il­le­gally. The ACLU said it will file a law­suit chal­leng­ing what it called an “ex­treme” and “dra­co­nian racial pro­fil­ing law.”

The ACLU and the South­ern Poverty Law Cen­ter re­quested an in­junc­tion to stop an im­mi­gra­tion law in Ge­or­gia pend­ing the out­come of a law­suit they had filed.

Repub­li­can Gov. Nathan Deal signed the law in May, not­ing that it dif­fers from the Ari­zona law that a U.S. district judge struck down in July 2010.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion had re­quested an in­junc­tion against Ari­zona’s law, por­tions of which — in­clud­ing use of the E-Ver­ify sys­tem — were up­held by the U.S. Supreme Court on May 26.

The Ge­or­gia law, set to take ef­fect July 1, al­ready has caused some il­le­gal im­mi­grants to head back home, ac­cord­ing to the Atlanta Jour­nal-Con­sti­tu­tion.

The law says po­lice can in­ves­ti­gate the im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus of sus­pects and take il­le­gal im­mi­grants into cus­tody.

It also makes it il­le­gal to traf­fic in or trans­port il­le­gal im­mi­grants while com­mit­ting an- other crime or to use fraud­u­lent IDs when ap­ply­ing for a job.

In Septem­ber 2009, af­ter the ACORN scan­dal broke, Pres­i­dent Obama was asked about it dur­ing an in­ter­view for a Sun­day news show. Mr. Obama replied, “Frankly, it’s not some­thing I’ve fol­lowed closely.” That’s odd, given that Mr. Obama had an ex­ten­sive as­so­ci­a­tion with ACORN. The Wall Street Jour­nal’s John Fund noted that Mr. Obama’s ACORN-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties in­cluded run­ning a voter-reg­is­tra­tion drive for Pro­ject Vote in 1991, train­ing ACORN vol­un­teers and rep­re­sent­ing ACORN in a 1995 case that forced Illi­nois to adopt the fed­eral Mo­tor Voter Law.

Given that the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion is ig­nor­ing “sanc­tu­ary cities” that flout fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion laws and in­stead is go­ing af­ter states like Ari­zona that want to en­force the law, you have to won­der how se­ri­ously it takes voter fraud.

If the ques­tion is qui bono? — to whose ben­e­fit? — the an­swer is pretty ob­vi­ous.

Robert Knight is a se­nior fel­low for the Amer­i­can Civil Rights Union and a colum­nist for The Wash­ing­ton Times.

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