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Thread: ACORN busted for voter registration fraud!

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    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    ACORN busted for voter registration fraud!

    SEATTLE, Washington (CNN) -- Clifton Mitchell helped register nearly 2,000 voters for the community group ACORN. But not one of them actually existed.


    Clifton Mitchell filled out voter cards using fake birthdays, Social Security numbers and baby-name books.

    "I regret it. I paid the price for it," he said.

    Mitchell was convicted last year and spent nearly three months in prison. He's one of the few ACORN workers convicted of voter registration fraud.

    Today, he lives with his wife and two boys, ages 3 and 1, in a small apartment in suburban Seattle, Washington. Mitchell said he scammed the system because, "I needed money; I had to support my family and I was new to the area. It was the only job I had."

    Mitchell said ACORN threatened to close the office if he and his team didn't meet their quota to register 13 to 20 voters a day. So, without consulting their supervisors, he said, they came up with a plan.

    "We came up with the idea: Let's make fraudulent cards. I tell my crew, 'I don't care how you get 'em, just get 'em,' " Mitchell recalled. Watch Mitchell explain how they created voters

    They took addresses from homeless shelters, used fake birthdays and Social Security numbers and took names from baby books to create voters out of thin air.


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    "Every day I'd go to the library and get a newspaper," Mitchell said. "I had one guy who'd go to the phone book. Everyone had different methods."

    The secretary of state called it "the worst case of voter registration fraud in the history of the state of Washington." ACORN was fined $25,000 and ordered to improve its oversight.

    The group is under investigation in 10 states for voter registration fraud, and Republican presidential candidate John McCain's campaign has accused ACORN of trying to rig the election for Democrats.

    But University of Washington law professor Eric Schnapper says the idea of fake cards turning into real votes is a myth.

    "There are no known instances of fictitious people actually voting," Schnapper said. "You look at some of the names: Mickey Mouse. Dr. Seuss. Mickey Mouse only votes in Disneyland. He's not going to show up at a critical precinct in West Virginia or North Carolina."

    Schnapper said that if anyone should be upset, it's ACORN.

    "The victims of this are the people who paid these workers $8 an hour to go out and find legitimate voters, and ... they didn't get their $8 worth; they put down phony names," Schnapper said.

    Schnapper said he's worked on Republican and Democratic campaigns and has paid people to hand out leaflets or register voters. He said some of the workers do their jobs and some don't.

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    ACORN said it has registered well more than 1 million voters, most of them Democrats. Though the group is under investigation in a number of swing states, such as Ohio and Nevada, amid accusations that it turned in fake voter registration cards, Schnapper said there's no evidence that any worker intended to commit voter fraud and actually take those names, produce phony identification and vote on Election Day.

    Threats of criminal prosecution may scare some groups into closing voter registration drives, according to Schnapper. It could scare actual voters away from the polls as well, he said, "and that really does affect the outcomes of the election."

    A report from the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University Law School supports his claim. Researchers reviewed voter fraud claims across the country and found that most were caused by technical glitches, clerical errors or mistakes made by voters. One other finding: A person is more likely to be struck by lightning than to impersonate another voter at the polls.

    ACORN has recently released a video on the Internet called "Fight Back: The Truth About ACORN." It uses a mix of interviews and video to fight what the group calls Republican efforts to suppress voter turnout.


    CNN asked Clifton Mitchell whether he and his team, at any point, got together to try to rig the election.

    "When I did it, when my team did it, it wasn't to steal any election," Mitchell said. "They're just trying to keep a job. But understand, I blame myself. I can only blame myself."

    *Now you know where these inflated "pole" numbers are coming from that favor Obama. And with Kerry coming out of the woodwork to inject his sour grapes into the campaign once again it only looks up for McCain from here.)
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    dreadnought,

    *Now you know where these inflated "pole" numbers are coming from that favor Obama.
    i'm not sure how that follows-- how are made-up voters going to rear their heads up and answer a phone poll?
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    dreadnought,



    i'm not sure how that follows-- how are made-up voters going to rear their heads up and answer a phone poll?
    It is merely an example of just how the numbers in the poles have been inflated. ACORN uses these numbers to feed the Democratic spin machine into Republicans believing that so many Democrats have turned out to vote that its not worth their campaign time to spend X amount of hours campaigning in whatever state for their canidate and they write the state off and move onto the next as time becomes more and more critical. Basically its a fake out strategy. However a pretty imature one at best.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 23 Oct 08, at 14:56.
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    dreadnought,

    It is merely an example of just how the numbers in the poles have been inflated. ACORN uses these numbers to feed the Democratic spin machine into Republicans believing that so many Democrats have turned out to vote that its not worth their campaign time to spend X amount of hours campaigning in whatever state for their canidate and they write the state off and move onto the next as time becomes more and more critical. Basically its a fake out strategy. However a pretty imature one at best.
    if that's the idea, you're right- it's a pretty bad one. campaign strategists won't look at just number of registered voters (the only thing inflated in this case), they will also look at public polling. in which case, this voter registration fraud is worthless. a serious business but not as serious as voter fraud.

    however, this aside, it's a bad year for republicans, and the way the mccain campaign delights in shooting itself in the foot doesn't help. the recent obama surge has been more about this than ACORN interference. that's just an example of typical campaigning, making a mountain out of a molehill.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    dreadnought,



    if that's the idea, you're right- it's a pretty bad one. campaign strategists won't look at just number of registered voters (the only thing inflated in this case), they will also look at public polling. in which case, this voter registration fraud is worthless. a serious business but not as serious as voter fraud.

    however, this aside, it's a bad year for republicans, and the way the mccain campaign delights in shooting itself in the foot doesn't help. the recent obama surge has been more about this than ACORN interference. that's just an example of typical campaigning, making a mountain out of a molehill.
    If they have to stoop to such measures then what does this tell you? Its no wonder why they are being investigated because they are feeding the media ergo the public a bunch of crap and the spin doctors put their twist on it and attempt to sell it to the voters.

    The Democrates themselves must be scaping the very bottom of the barrel for John Kerry to start with his sour grapes over McCain. Like he has any meaningfull purpose outside of defacing McCain. One thing the political past has tought is that when John Kerry starts mouthing off it normally spells doom for whichever canidate he backs.

    Once again thanks John from us Republicans and yes we are still glad that a horses ass like you never made it into the Oval office.:P
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 23 Oct 08, at 15:38.
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    Senior Contributor antimony's Avatar
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    Can someone tell me why this is so sinister? I have the following observations

    1. ACORN tells its workforce to get out and get forms filled
    2. Some guys submit forms which are either filled out by them from phone books or multiple forms filled by the same person. They get paid per form
    3. ACORN submits all forms, since as I understand, there is a law that says that they have to submit every form that they get

    Seems to me that it was ACORN that got screwed over for not putting in place proper procedures for their workforce. Serves them right

    Now another question - how will this translate to voter fraud, which is separate from voter registration fraud and infinitely mire dangerous? Its not like Mickey Mouse or Winnie the Pooh can come and vote on Nov 4th

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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antimony View Post
    Can someone tell me why this is so sinister? I have the following observations

    1. ACORN tells its workforce to get out and get forms filled
    2. Some guys submit forms which are either filled out by them from phone books or multiple forms filled by the same person. They get paid per form
    3. ACORN submits all forms, since as I understand, there is a law that says that they have to submit every form that they get

    Seems to me that it was ACORN that got screwed over for not putting in place proper procedures for their workforce. Serves them right

    Now another question - how will this translate to voter fraud, which is separate from voter registration fraud and infinitely mire dangerous? Its not like Mickey Mouse or Winnie the Pooh can come and vote on Nov 4th
    ACORN actually pushes for people who register to vote democrat. If the registration is made up, who do you think has access to the phony registration and who do you think this phony person will vote for? It's a systematic way to stuff the ballot box in favor of one political party over another. That's the danger.
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    gunnut,

    ACORN actually pushes for people who register to vote democrat.
    while the policies ACORN has are certainly liberal in nature, and the minorities they target trend Dem, has there been any evidence that they're sending over ballots with the Dem name circled in advance?

    If the registration is made up, who do you think has access to the phony registration and who do you think this phony person will vote for? It's a systematic way to stuff the ballot box in favor of one political party over another. That's the danger.
    has there been proof of this? because that's not just voter registration fraud, that's outright voter fraud.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Military Professional Ray's Avatar
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    Arrest them and charge them with fraud!

    Too many phoney stuff afoot. The economy and now the democracy!


    "Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion, Instead of Truth they use Equivocation, And eke it out with mental Reservation, Which is to good Men an Abomination."

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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    gunnut,

    while the policies ACORN has are certainly liberal in nature, and the minorities they target trend Dem, has there been any evidence that they're sending over ballots with the Dem name circled in advance?
    I don't mean push as in handing people ballots with names already marked. I mean push as in they actively tell the community to vote democrat because of whatever reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    has there been proof of this? because that's not just voter registration fraud, that's outright voter fraud.
    I am not sure if there are any solid proof of this. But the possibility exists.

    ACORN's defense is that they pay their workers by the names registered. Their workers sometimes defraud them by handing in fake registrations.
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    Military Professional Ray's Avatar
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    Whats stopping arresting the fraudsters?


    "Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion, Instead of Truth they use Equivocation, And eke it out with mental Reservation, Which is to good Men an Abomination."

    I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.

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    Senior Contributor antimony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    ACORN actually pushes for people who register to vote democrat. If the registration is made up, who do you think has access to the phony registration and who do you think this phony person will vote for? It's a systematic way to stuff the ballot box in favor of one political party over another. That's the danger.
    But registering Dem voters cannot be a crime, the Republicans can do that to, can't they

    Isn't encouraging more legit people to vote just good democracy?

    Also, how can the phony person vote? As far as I understand a voter would have to run up with some ID and will be allowed to vote only if the ID matches that person's voter registration form. A guy who has filled up a form 100 times will still be able to produce only 1 ID, right?

    On a side note, I know that you are against government involvement in most things, but this is where a centralised government agency can help. In India, we have a centralised election commission which registers voters and provide voter ID

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    It is merely an example of just how the numbers in the poles have been inflated. ACORN uses these numbers to feed the Democratic spin machine into Republicans believing that so many Democrats have turned out to vote that its not worth their campaign time to spend X amount of hours campaigning in whatever state for their canidate and they write the state off and move onto the next as time becomes more and more critical. Basically its a fake out strategy. However a pretty imature one at best.
    polls!!!!
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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antimony View Post
    But registering Dem voters cannot be a crime, the Republicans can do that to, can't they
    Of course it's not a crime. The problem is ACORN gets government funding. Republicans can do that too. In fact they do. They usually use churches to spread their message, which I don't agree since Churches don't pay taxes. What to play the game? Pay the due.

    Quote Originally Posted by antimony View Post
    Isn't encouraging more legit people to vote just good democracy?
    Yes it is. But ACORN gets federal funding. Government funds shouldn't be used for one party's function without being declared so.

    Quote Originally Posted by antimony View Post
    Also, how can the phony person vote? As far as I understand a voter would have to run up with some ID and will be allowed to vote only if the ID matches that person's voter registration form. A guy who has filled up a form 100 times will still be able to produce only 1 ID, right?
    It's actually illegal to ask for ID at some places. The dems said that's "voter intimidation."

    Quote Originally Posted by antimony View Post
    On a side note, I know that you are against government involvement in most things, but this is where a centralised government agency can help. In India, we have a centralised election commission which registers voters and provide voter ID
    I am against government intrusion in businesses. I am absolutely for a centralized government agency in charge of voting. That's what the government is for. We have the federal election commission. It's in charge of auditing funds political parties have access to, to make sure no shenanigans go on in fund raising. Like Bill Gates couldn't just donate $50 million to a candidate because he's behind in fund rasing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    Whats stopping arresting the fraudsters?
    In the case of voter registration fraud I personally stumbled upon, the local officials indicated that they had no interest in pursuing the matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by antimony View Post
    But registering Dem voters cannot be a crime, the Republicans can do that to, can't they

    Isn't encouraging more legit people to vote just good democracy?

    Also, how can the phony person vote? As far as I understand a voter would have to run up with some ID and will be allowed to vote only if the ID matches that person's voter registration form. A guy who has filled up a form 100 times will still be able to produce only 1 ID, right?

    On a side note, I know that you are against government involvement in most things, but this is where a centralised government agency can help. In India, we have a centralised election commission which registers voters and provide voter ID
    Requiring IDs of prospective voters has been ruled illegal in some places. In my city, you could spend all day registering and voting in various precincts, and there is no mechanism to challenge you since you can register at the polls, and ID is specifically not required.

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