19 October 2008

Act against voter fraud

From The Washington Times

There is little doubt now that the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) was either co-opted by an outside group bent on committing massive voter fraud to rig this election, was a willing participant or was itself intent on doing just that.

The case of Darnell Nash, a voter from Cuyahoga County, Ohio (Cleveland) is the necessary proof that adds fuel to the fire of similar voter-registration-fraud allegations that have been circulating around the nation for a month now. Mr. Nash not only filled out numerous registration forms for ACORN and used an address that wasn't his, but he has admitted to voting using one of those fraudulent registrations, according to the New York Post.

Ohio election officials are playing down the fraud aspect. But that shouldn't surprise anyone considering the manner in which Ohio officials conducted the 2004 election and the widespread allegations of selective closing of certain polls at quitting time and the leaving open of others based on the preponderance of party registrations.

But those were allegations in 2004. This is actual voter fraud in 2008 - not registration fraud, where intent is difficult to ascertain. This time someone submitted a fraudulent registration with the intent of casting a phony ballot to influence the election.

Not since the 1960 election between John Kennedy and Richard Nixon, when Democrats and Republicans were both involved in questionable vote-rigging games - fraudulent absentee ballots from dead people in Chicago and voter suppression and intimidation in the South - was this type of evidence discovered. And the discovery did not occur before the election took place.

Voters demand election integrity. John McCain and Barack Obama must show leadership by joining forces and working out an agreement with their respective parties, states and election officials, to ensure fraud-free elections over the next 22 days. The agreement should:

-- List every precinct in battleground states where either party fears there is a potential for voter intimidation, fraud or mistrust of the tabulation process.

-- Recruit a volunteer for each named precinct to work jointly as an observation team.

-- Recruit bipartisan teams that would oversee multiple precincts and respond to and investigate reports of problems.

-- Establish clear rules for when polling places will be kept open after the closing time established by law.

This is the suggestion offered by former Sens. John Danforth and Warren Rudman, who co-chair Mr. McCain's Honest and Open Election Committee. This discussion should take place tonight during the debate. Also, Mr. Obama, whose campaign paid ACORN $800,000 to register voters during the primary, should be saddled with the burden of proof and take the lead in addressing the allegations.

Regardless of what the campaigns decide to do, state and local officials will have to spend the next three weeks going over every ACORN-sponsored registration they have received - all 1.3 million of them.

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