There ought to be a law. In fact, there ought to be 50.
Every state from Hawaii to Maine and from Alaska to Florida should adopt emergency measures to require photo ID for every American who goes to the polls on November 4. Legislatures, executives, and courts should move quickly to avoid what has become a pending electoral crisis.
The 13 states investigating the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) are discovering “toxic vote registrations” to rival the “toxic mortgages” that triggered the current turmoil rattling financial markets. While roughly 95 percent of homeowners are paying their mortgages on time, the other 5 percent in default and foreclosure were all it took to spin the global economy out of control.
Similarly, the relatively small number of fraudulent vote registrations discovered so far could represent just enough systemic infection to sicken the entire body politic, especially if this election turns out closer than most now expect.
Still-unfolding revelations of shenanigans by ACORN and a handful of other groups should worry voters of all parties. Notwithstanding the fact that Barack Obama was ACORN’s one-time attorney, former trainer, and Woods Fund donor — and, more recently, the purchaser of its campaign services and its endorsee for president — these questions cannot be dismissed as one or two isolated incidents that Republicans are flogging for partisan advantage. As of Monday, ACORN was under investigation in Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin. Here are just some of the more troubling details officials are pursuing.
In Connecticut, O’jahnae Smith and her family were stunned to learn she is a registered voter. At age seven, voting is above her pay grade. Nonetheless, an ACORN worker tried to register her by forging Smith’s name on an application and claiming she was 27 years old.
In Florida, one Miami voter has 21 registrations on file. Among the 1,320 applications ACORN filed in Brevard County, two thirds contain names of people already registered.
Meanwhile, the Tampa Tribune
reports, a group called Work for Progress has filed at least 35 suspicious registrations in Pinellas County. Some applications feature nearly identical handwriting and addresses. Also, honest voters have received notices saying they had re-registered when they did no such thing.
“It used to be ballots being dropped in the river or buried in an orange grove,” said Buddy Johnson, Hillsborough County elections chief. “Now it’s become a very sophisticated process and we need to keep an eye on it.”
In Indiana, people seem really
psyched for November. STATSIndiana reveals
that 644,197 adults in Marion County (Indianapolis) are of voting age. Among those, 677,401 are registered to vote. Thanks to these 33,204 fake voters, Indianapolis enjoys an amazing 105.15 percent registration rate.
In Lake County, among 5,000 registration applications that ACORN submitted, all of the first 2,100 proved bogus. “All the signatures looked exactly the same,” Republican election official Ruthann Hoagland told
CNN. “Everything on the card filled out looks exactly the same.” Her Democratic colleague, Sally LaSota, agreed. “We’re not handwriting experts, but what’s obvious is obvious.” These 5,000 forms were placed in what Hoagland called the “fake pile” for later scrutiny.
One card was filed by Jimmy Johns. His address is listed as 10839 Broadway in Crown Point. That turns out to be the location of a fast-food restaurant called . . . Jimmy Johns.
In Missouri, someone named Monica Ray registered ten times with the same signature and different birth dates. Elsewhere in the Show Me State, ACORN tried to register a 12-year-old.
Jackson County Election Supervisor Charlene Davis told Fox News Channel that her office has discovered some 800 fraudulent forms filed by ACORN.
At least eight ACORN workers in St. Louis previously have pleaded guilty to fraud. That city has notoriously sketchy voting norms.