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.