ACORN's defenders have repeatedly downplayed the crimes by highlighting the differences between registration fraud and vote fraud itself. But the registrations are only one element of the scam.
Bogus Voter Registration + Fraudulent Absentee Ballot = Democrat VictoryDuring the run-up to the 2008 New Jersey gubernatorial election, John Fund noted that state officials had received a startling 180,000 requests for absentee ballots. A "new loosely written vote-by-mail law" reportedly discourages county clerks from closely validating the signatures on absentee ballots, which is the only method of verification.
ACORN's preferred method appears to combine a fraudulent voter registration with an equally bogus absentee ballot. For this reason, observers speculate, the last few election cycles have seen huge increases in the number of absentee ballots cast.
Big Government reports that this sort of fraud was endemic to the 2008 election cycle. In Troy, New York, "[d]ozens of forged and fraudulent absentee ballots from people registered to vote on the Working Families Party line were filed in the Sept. 15 primary elections... the fraudulent ballots were handled by or prepared on behalf of various elected officials and leaders and operatives for the Democratic and Working Families parties." In fact, some ballots may have been cast with stolen identities.
A quick review of headlines helps illustrate the trend:
• WBOC, 2008: "Delaware Voters Complete Record Number of Absentee Ballots".
• STLtoday, 2008: "Absentee ballots double in St. Louis, increase statewide".
Seattle Times, 2008: "After King County Elections sends a batch of absentee ballots today, the office will have mailed a record 742,000 absentee ballots."
• NOLA, 2008: "Record number of absentee ballots cast in Maine."
• Fairfax County, 2006: Virginia absentee ballots numbered 110,000 in '06, an increase of 65,000 compared to the last off-year election.
• Washington Post, 2006: "A record 166,000 Maryland voters... requested absentee ballots."
Absentee ballots, in conjunction with fraudulent voter registrations, are the simplest method to steal elections. This appears to be ACORN's strategy of choice.
Coleman vs. FrankenBy far the most insidious tactic used by ACORN and related groups is the "found ballot". Whenever election outcomes are razor thin, you can expect that ACORN's thousands of voter registrations -- along with absentee ballots -- will be "discovered" to add new votes to the Democrat candidate's total.
After initially leading failed radio host Al Franken by 725 votes, incumbent Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota ended up losing the race after a series of bizarre recounts.
• The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that "the state Canvassing Board approved the use of Election Day results for 133 Minneapolis ballots that can't be found and also recommended that counties sort and count absentee ballots that were mistakenly rejected." This decision gave Franken most of his winning margin.
• In Ramsey County, "the recount showed that there were 171 more ballots than recorded votes", yet the ballots were counted, and Franken picked up nearly 40 more votes.
Washington Governor's RaceIn 2004 Dino Rossi, the Republican candidate, won the state of Washington's governorship by a narrow margin. But that victory proved short-lived. Election officials:
• discovered uncounted ballots weeks and months after the election;
• counted votes from people without valid registrations;
• and permitted "felons without voting rights, as well as a few dead people, to cast ballots".
After the recounts, Rossi lost by a mere 133 votes.
Undermining DemocracyWriting in The American Thinker last year, James Simpson called ACORN "the new tip of the Cloward-Piven spear". This assessment is accurate.
ACORN's strategies are more than criminal; they are tantamount to an attempt to overthrow the government. By poisoning vote results, they are ruining the wellspring of Democracy.
The fact that mainstream Democrats support this outrageous group and its illegal behavior is sickening, but not unexpected from a party controlled by radical leftists who seek the destruction of the American form of government.
The lesson is clear for Republicans in 2010: much tighter oversight of absentee ballots is necessary in order for Democracy to survive in this country.
Hat tips: Leo Alberti (Obamacorn logo), Michelle Malkin and Larwyn. Linked by: Gina Cobb. Thanks!