Obama, ACORN, and Voter Suppression
A key topic on Twitter right now is ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. It turns out that they, together with Project Vote have registered 1.3 million new voters this year many of whom are low or middle income families, and this has worried a lot of conservatives. The RNC seems to be having conference calls just about every day to attack ACORN, and it is a top topic on Twitter
Sen. McCain addressed this today in a town hall in Waukesha, WI, where in response to people chanting ‘Acorn’ he said,
“There are serious allegations of voter fraud in the battle ground states across America they must be investigated and no one should corrupt the most precious right we have and that is the right to vote.”
For once, I agree with Sen. McCain. Today, I received a press release from Project Vote announcing that the Republican Party of Montana has announced that it is ‘abandoning its plans to challenge the voting eligibility of at least 6,000 residents of that state’.
The Republicans were challenging residents in Democratic districts based on change-of-address cards that had been filed with the U.S. Postal Service. However, according to Teresa James, an attorney for Project Vote, ‘Montana law and the National Voter Registration Act allowed voters who had moved to cast their ballots in their old precincts’.
The Missoulian provides much more detail. “U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy issued a scathing order Wednesday lambasting the Montana Republican Party for challenging the registrations of thousands of Montana voters”.
Jacob Eaton, the executive director of the state GOP said, “My intent was to ensure that voters are properly registered and that Montanans would have the utmost faith in the integrity of our elections process.” Judge Molloy wrote, “In his zeal to protect what he sees as Montana's fragile democracy from these transient hordes, Eaton ignored the very law that answers his challenges” And “One can imagine the mischief an immature political operative could inject into an election cycle were he to use the statutes, not for their intended purpose of protecting the integrity of the people's democracy, but rather to execute a tawdry political ploy”.
While the Republicans have backed off from this effort to suppress voter turnout, the Democrats intend to continue the case against the Republicans for violating federal law. Art Noonan, the executive director of the state Democrats said, “They taught us a long time ago that if you want to stop bullying on the playground, you stand up to the bully.”
This isn’t the only case where people’s ‘most precious right to vote’ is being illegally threatened. The New York Times reports that “The six swing states seem to be in violation of federal law in two ways.” One is by purging voters within ninety days of a Federal election, and the other is in ‘improperly using Social Security information to screen registration applications from new voters’.
So, what does this have to do with ACORN and Sen. Obama? Well, conservatives are all concerned about Sen. Obama’s involvement with ACORN. Yet Sen. Obama never was an organizer for ACORN. Instead, as a lawyer, he represented ACORN in a successful lawsuit against the State of Illinois ‘to force state compliance with a federal voting access law’.
That is the sort of involvement we need to see from our politicians. We need to see them stand up for the rights of voters and the rule of law.
So, yes, Sen. McCain, “There are serious allegations of voter fraud in the battle ground states across America they must be investigated and no one should corrupt the most precious right we have and that is the right to vote.” We need leaders like Sen. Obama to defend our most precious right of voting, especially against Republican operatives that attempt to suppress voter turnout by violating Federal Election law.