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The Washington Independent

ACORN Raid Reflects GOP Anger at Voter Registration Drive

Daphne Eviatar

An investigator enters the ACORN office in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008. A Nevada secretary of state's office spokesman said Tuesday that investigators are looking for evidence of voter fraud at the office. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Yesterday's raid on Nevada offices of
ACORN reflects the increasingly aggressive Republican attempts to
derail voter registration efforts among poor and minority voters.

As The Washington Post reported,
the Nevada chapter of the Assn. of Community Organizations for Reform
Now, or ACORN, had planned a potluck dinner at its Las Vegas office
Tuesday night to celebrate the 80,000 newly registered voters its staff
had signed up in Clark County.

Before that dinner could start, however, Nevada officials raided the
ACORN office, removing 20 boxes of documents and eight computer hard
drives. The state officials claimed that workers for the
community-organizing group, who are paid by the hour, had submitted
almost 300 voter registration cards that included names and addresses
that don't exist in Nevada, or are duplicates of previous registrations.

A former ACORN employee said she started making up names to fill out
the registration forms to avoid having to work in the heat outside.
Workers are expected to sign up 20 new voters per shift.

As I noted in my post yesterday,
Republicans have been aggressively attacking ACORN for alleged voter
fraud, and using any false or erroneous registrations submitted by the
group to claim there's a problem of widespread voter fraud that's
tainting the elections.

But not only are the numbers of illegitimate registrations found
tiny in comparison to the 1.3 million valid new registrations the group
has signed up, but neither the Nevada GOP, nor anyone else, has
presented any evidence that these duplicate or false registrations have
any impact whatsoever on the validity of the vote.

After all, unless poll workers are sleeping on the job, no one can
show up and vote twice. And there's no evidence, and likewise no
charges, that anyone is showing up at the polls and impersonating the
nonexistent voters that have been signed up.

Still, ACORN has been making huge efforts to try to prevent this
sort of fraud - cooperating with local authorities by flagging
suspicious registrations and having workers individually call new
registrants to make sure their registrations are legitimate.

Of course, the group has good reason to cooperate with local
authorities to prevent fraud. After all, even assuming the Republicans'
allegations against ACORN workers are true, the only fraud that's
actually been perpetrated was on ACORN itself -- not on the government
or the voters of Nevada, or anywhere else.

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