The current Republican hand waving is now focused on ACORN, the organization’s perennial punching bag whenever a state or national election could be close. You see, it’s not in the Republicans interest to have everyone who is qualified to vote, to actually vote. If it were up to the Republicans, they would filter out anyone who isn’t conservative, middle class or above, and especially white.
ACORN is an organization focused on getting people to vote, ensuring that people equal access to housing and education, supportive of unions, and decent working conditions. Really, how awful—what do these people think this country is?
ACORN and Missouri have a long history together because my state is always held up as the poster child for voter registration fraud. Governor Blunt, a man so despised after his one and only term as governor that he didn’t even run again, says it’s all the fault of ACORN and that the organization is committing deliberate fraud in order to register Democratic voters.
What he doesn’t say is that ACORN is typically the first to actually flag suspicious voters. That the organization has turned in to the authorities voter registrars it believes are deliberately creating fraudulent registrations. That it cannot, by law, not turn in any registration it receives. So even if you register as Mickey Mouse, all that the ACORN registrar can do is flag the registration for the election committee, who then has to determine if the registration is fake or not.
You read that correctly: ACORN, any voter registration organization, cannot discard any voter registration card. By law. This is so that organizations can’t “pretend” to register folks, and then discard the registrations in an attempt to rig the vote.
We had a group of six ACORN registration workers convicted of fraud in St. Louis because they used the phone book to create duplicate registrations in order to get paid by ACORN without doing any actual work. There was no universal attempt to “rig” an election. There has never been any attempt to fraudulently rig an election–it’s all about money. It would be nice if ACORN didn’t have to pay people, but another purpose behind the organization is to provide jobs whenever possible. Among those who take these jobs, you’re always going to have the bad apples.
Plus, it’s not easy getting volunteers nowadays. We can’t even fill all poll worker positions in the state, and they’re paid, too.
How big is this problem? ACORN registered 53,000 people in the state of Missouri. How many registrations forms are being questioned? According to what the ACORN staff here in this state were told: 135 questionable cards, 89 considered duplicate. Wow, we can really take over the state and the country with this huge effort to commit fraud.
The purpose of the ACORN effort, all voter registration efforts, though, is noble, and I won’t hear anything against it. To me, I can’t think of any higher purpose than to ensure that everyone qualified to vote is registered to vote, and then encouraged to vote. The biggest problem we’ve been having with our elections in the last couple of decades is fewer people actually voting. It’s a sad state when your elected representatives are elected by a minority of people.
I am tired that an organization whose sole purpose is to help people like you and me, become the Republican fall guy every election, because the Republicans can’t focus on the issues. Why not focus on the issues? Because the Republican platform basically sucks. It asks people to give up their right to health care, to being treated decently in their job, to access to good home loans regardless of country of origin or race; that we don’t start three more wars before the two we have going are at least finished; the party that doesn’t want people to remember that the current Republican president entered office with a budget surplus and a healthy economy, and has dug a financial hole so deep, we may never get out. In other words the Republican party deplores any organization, or candidate, who works to ensure this country is the “great” country we claim it to be. To put into deed that which the Republicans can only put into words. Angry, divisive words, too—full of fear and hate of “others”.
Governor Matt Blunt is desperately trying to “earn” his way into the McCain White House, and is using ACORN as his key. That’s what is happening in my state, in a nut shell. And if you think Sarah Palin would be the worst disaster in the White House, you haven’t met Matt Blunt.
Does Senator Obama have a history with voter registration? With working to ensure that all people have equal access to the polls? Yes, but then so did James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner. And if those names don’t ring a bell, I suggest you look them up in Google while you think on what’s really at stake, and what the Republicans are really trying to do with this election.
Powers’ entry generated more than 100 comments on the Drudge Retort, where I was surprised to hear from people who think that more people voting is a bad idea. “Why weren’t the founders of our country concerned with ‘everyone’s right’ to vote in a presidential election?” one asked.
The founding fathers didn’t think women should vote, treated blacks as property, and were divided on whether Americans should be required to own property to vote. In 1788, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter asserting that women were “too wise to wrinkle their foreheads with politics.”
Mad props to those white male 18th century landowners for the American Revolution, First Amendment, powdered wigs and Samuel Adams Pale Ale, but the idea we should defer to their views on voting is obscene.