With the latest indictments of ACORN workers in Nevada and Pennsylvania for filing fraudulent voter registration forms, Sen. David Vitter (R., La.) has introduced a timely bill that would make it easier to deter and investigate these problems. The Voter Fraud Prevention Act of 2009 (S.1103) would require individuals involved in voter registration efforts to include information identifying them and the organizations they are working for (like ACORN) on each voter registration form. It would also prohibit felons from working in voter registration campaigns, a commonsense proposal in these days of rampant identity fraud, and individuals would have to certify they are not being paid based on the number of forms they submit. Such bounty payments are an incentive for filing bogus registration applications.
Of course, liberals constantly deny that voter registration fraud leads to the casting of fraudulent ballots — voter fraud is a supposed “myth” propagated by the Right. It is not a myth in St. Louis, Missouri, where the local election board just asked federal authorities to investigate 50 cases of voter fraud from three recent elections, including people voting whose registered addresses are vacant lots and individuals who voted in both Missouri and neighboring Illinois in the same election. Don’t hold your breath that the Holder Justice Department will do anything about this, although demands for such an investigation by those concerned with election integrity should still be registered.
You might wonder why federal legislation is needed when voter registration is handled by state and local officials. Well, you can thank the frenzy of obsessive litigation filed by unions and radical liberal groups (including the League of Women Voters). Because of constant problems with voter-registration drives conducted by third-party organizations like ACORN, including not turning in legitimate voter registration forms on a timely basis, states like Florida, Ohio, and New Mexico passed laws implementing similar requirements (some also requiring basic training for individuals who are registering voters and time limits for turning in completed forms). All of these groups immediately filed lawsuits claiming that these laws were outrageous violations of their rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, the Voting Rights Act, and the National Voter Registration Act. Vitter’s bill is needed to override bad decisions in the courts and help the states implement such commonsense requirements.