With three weeks to go, and absentee voting well underway, both campaigns — and outside group — have been asking voters and the media to look at the possibility of election fraud. At McCain rallies, supporters intone “ACORN” and “FBI! FBI!” with increasing regularity. And, it’s true, ACORN — a predominately left-leaning group with (limited) ties to Obama — has a particularly spotty record when it comes to voter registration. The problem is that attempting to register voters improperly or fraudulently (under names like “Mickey Mouse” or maybe a local restaurant) only seems to be beneficial to Democrats. To be actually beneficial, Mickey Mouse (or the restaurant) would have to show up to vote.
In the mean time, paranoia about bad registrations threatens to impede the flow of legitimate new registrants — and that flow is really more like a tidal wave. So while I’m all hats off to the McCain campaign’s “Open and Honest Elections Committee” for, among other things, “reach[ing] out to Rep. John Conyers, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to reject reports on voter challenges based on home-foreclosures,” it might be temperate to stop complaining about bad registrants and instead help to figure out a way to make the voter registration system withstand the flood of new, legitimate voters. (Full McCain statement after the jump.)
From a recent statement by “Election Protection” (reprinted in full after the jump):
In the next three weeks, we must maintain the integrity of the system, while also working to ensure that anyone who is properly registered is not intimidated by political operatives questioning their right to vote. We must unmask voter suppression tactics disguised as voter integrity measures.
The concerns we’re seeing now with voter registration are eminently fixable. We need a system in which registration drives and the crush of new applications to be processed before Election Day are replaced by a more standard and logical process. Government should make sure that all citizens are permanently registered to vote as soon as they become eligible and that registrations are automatically updated with changes in address and marital status. This will eliminate the need for community groups or partisans to conduct voter registration drives and make our government clearly responsible for maintaining voter rolls throughout the year.
In other words, we can stop worrying about ACORN’s tactics once we put an end to the need for ACORN to exist.
STATEMENT ON ACORN’S LETTER
For Immediate Release
Contact: Press Office
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
ARLINGTON, VA — Today, McCain-Palin 2008 campaign manager Rick Davis released the following statement in response to ACORN’s letter:
“Almost a month ago, the McCain-Palin campaign reached out to Barack Obama’s campaign, the Democratic National Committee and state election officials in an effort to cooperate on potential Election Day problems, including voter fraud. To date, we have not received a response. Today, our campaign’s Honest and Open Election Committee, chaired by former Senators John Danforth and Warren Rudman, re-proposed that invitation in an event at the National Press Club. Given the extensive relationship between Barack Obama and ACORN, our campaign also feels that Senator Obama has a responsibility to rein in ACORN’s efforts and to work aggressively against wide-scale voter fraud. In addition, Senator McCain has reached out to Rep. John Conyers, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to reject reports on voter challenges based on home-foreclosures.
“If left uncorrected, these numerous investigations and accusations of voter fraud with ACORN could produce a nightmare scenario on Election Day. It is our hope that the Obama campaign joins us in our efforts to prevent voter fraud prior to Election Day.”
Below please find links to the McCain campaign’s multiple attempts to resolve the voter fraud situation: