Officials in Ohio are investigating voter fraud connected with Acorn, and Florida's Seminole County is withholding Acorn registrations that appear fraudulent. New Mexico, North Carolina and Missouri are looking into hundreds of dubious Acorn registrations. Wisconsin is investigating Acorn employees for, according to an election official, "making people up or registering people that were still in prison."
Then there's Lake County, Indiana, which has already found more than 2,100 bogus applications among the 5,000 Acorn dumped right before the deadline. "All the signatures looked exactly the same," said Ruthann Hoagland, of the county election board. Bridgeport, Connecticut estimates about 20% of Acorn's registrations were faulty. As of July, the city of Houston had rejected or put on hold about 40% of the 27,000 registration cards submitted by Acorn.
That's just this year. In 2004, four Acorn employees were indicted in Ohio for submitting false voter registrations. In 2005, two Colorado Acorn workers were found to have submitted false registrations. Four Acorn Missouri employees were indicted in 2006; five were found guilty in Washington state in 2007 for filling out registration forms with names from a phone book.
The WSJ provides a nice list of voter registration fraud, but rejecting bad registrations is exactly what the people at the voter registration office do. And when the registration forms arrive pre-marked for fraudulent activity it can only make that job easier.
Now, if the people gathering registrations for ACORN had been paid by the registration rather than by the hour, ACORN would have built in an incentive to commit registration fraud and would be guilty of something. But they don't. ACORN appears to act within the rules as best as it can, and gladly turns over its gatherers to the authorities when fraud is suspected. After all, the gatherers of fraudulent registration forms are stealing from ACORN. Registrations for Mickey Mouse certainly don't translate into fraudulent votes.
I suppose ACORN could make Republicans happy by stopping existing. Or by holding voter registration drives at country clubs.