Until this month, the party line from the Left was that voter fraud amounted to just another figment of the imagination of the vast right wing conspiracy. Indeed, when the Democratic Party, the American Civil Liberties Union and other liberal groups brought their constitutional challenge to Indiana’s voter identification law to the Supreme Court, they argued the statute was unnecessary by simply repeating the rejoinder -- seemingly borrowed from a famous Wendy’s commercial -- “Where’s the fraud?”
Even after the Court upheld the requirement of presenting a government ID to vote, liberals both on and off the Supreme Court continued to claim there was no fraud problem to solve.
Justice David Souter insisted in dissent that there was “no evidence” of voter “fraud” in Indiana, just as there was “a dearth of evidence … in any other part of the country.”
The editorial pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post both repeated the same talking point. The Times stated outright that voter fraud was a “nonexistent problem,” while the Post commented less aggressively that “voter fraud is not a significant problem.”
Six months later, however, it is clear the liberals were either blissfully ignorant or intentionally deceptive about the reality of voter fraud. With approximately a dozen states now investigating thousands and thousands of questionable -- to put it charitably -- voter registrations collected by the Leftist canvassing group ACORN, mainstream media reports from across the country have documented that voter fraud is real.
Indeed, as reported by ABC News -- not to mention countless other news outlets -- ACORN itself “admitted [Wednesday] that it had fired some of its workers for falsifying voter registrations.” What’s more, this was no small isolated problem caused by a few bad apples, as ACORN would like the public to believe. Instead, based on stories emerging from Florida to Ohio to Indiana to Nevada, fraud not only ran rampant nationwide in ACORN’s voter registration drive, but also was so blatant and unbelievable to be ready-made fodder for late-night comics.
For instance, MSNBC reported that ACORN hired a canvasser named Jason Anderson among a group of “59 state prison inmates” to solicit voter registrations in Nevada. If that wasn’t enough of an indictment, ACORN later promoted the convict to be a “supervisory ‘team leader,’” before Anderson turned and blew the whistle about the voter fraud that prevailed in ACORN’s Nevada operation.
Anderson not only “told state investigators that some of his co-workers ‘hired by ACORN were lazy crack-heads who … just wanted the money,’” according to MSNBC, but also that those same “inmate colleagues had registered the Dallas Cowboys to vote in Nevada, along with ‘large numbers’ of other fictitious applications.”
On the other side of the United States, there was the attempt to register “Mickey Mouse” to vote in Florida, as reported by the St. Petersburg Times. The application “was stamped with the logo of the nonprofit group ACORN,” the Times noted, though “Orange County elections officials rejected his application.”
In the center of the country, ABC News reported that a voter registration application was submitted in Indiana by ACORN on behalf of a “Jimmy Johns of 10839 Broadway” in Lake County. “The application is signed and dated, but calls to the phone number listed on the application reveal that it is for a Jimmy Johns restaurant,” ABC News explained. “A waiter at the restaurant said there was no Jimmy Johns at that address, adding, ‘It’s a huge chain of restaurants.’”
As comical as these stories may be, they are extraordinary examples of a far larger and more serious problem of voter fraud, which is intertwined with and connected to ACORN.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that ACORN voter “registration cards have become the focus of fraud investigations in Nevada, Connecticut, Missouri and at least five other states.” MSNBC expanded that list to include the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina and Indiana.
The allegations being investigated are not limited to just a few examples of famous names being registered in unusual places. Rather, as the Los Angeles Times reported: “Mike Slater, head of Project Vote, which helped ACORN run its current registration drive, said the group has identified about 5,000 ‘bogus or potentially fraudulent’ applications so far.”
You read that last sentence right -- a senior official in charge of ACORN’s voter registration project came clean and admitted to thousands of “bogus or potentially fraudulent” voter registrations.
What’s more, Slater’s own figure doesn’t appear to count thousands upon thousands more suspicious voter registrations that were caught not by ACORN but by various state and local election officials. Indeed, perhaps the most damning part of Slater’s admission was not the sheer number of “bogus or potentially fraudulent” voter registrations he concedes ACORN collected, but the fact that, as the Los Angeles Times paraphrased him saying, ACORN “canvassers copied names from phone books.”
Worse yet, the fraud didn’t stop at getting fake names onto the voter registration rolls. Instead, as shown by the investigation in Ohio, ACORN’s fraudulent registrations have led to attempts at casting fraudulent votes.
The New York Post broke a story this week that contained the revelation that “[i]nvestigators probing ACORN have learned that an Ohio man registered to vote several times and cast a bogus [early] ballot with a fake address.”
The story went on to explain that the early “vote of Darnell Nash, one of four people subpoenaed in a Cuyahoga County probe of ACORN’s voter-registration activities, was canceled and his case was turned over to local prosecutors and law enforcement.” In other words, but for the attention of Ohio election officials, Nash -- and ACORN -- would have succeeded in casting an illegal ballot.
The infuriating examples just go on and on. You read one news story and think it couldn’t possibly get worse, but then an even bigger shoe drops as you continue reading. If you thought it was truly horrible that an ACORN canvasser in Nevada “was caught completing forms using names and addresses copied from the telephone book,” as MSNBC reported, then what about the fact that ACORN registered a singular Cleveland man 73 different times, paying “him a few bucks and g[iving] him a few cigarettes in exchange for the multiple signatures.”
All of this is the long way of saying that liberals can never again credibly argue “Where’s the fraud?” We know -- indeed, the common sense on Main Street has long known -- not only that there is voter fraud, but also where it is. It’s where we thought all along -- deeply embedded in ACORN’s voter registration drives.October 16, 2008