The voting fraud now going on this country is truly stultifying. The most obvious example of this is the fraud committed by ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). According to “Voter Fraud Watch: Could ACORN Scandal in Washington Have Been Avoided With Photo ID?” by Eric Shawn and Becky Diamond on FOXNews.com, ACORN fraudulently registered about 1800 voters in Washington in 2006. As Washington Secretary of State, Sam Reed stated, “`There is nothing more fundamental to a democratic republic and to a citizen of the United States than participating in selecting your public officials. For people to undermine that and try to perpetuate fraud on the system is an outrage.’" According to the article, John Jones, head of ACORN in Washington, stated that this isolated incident outraged ACORN. ( http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/05/02/voter-fraud-watch-could-acorn-scandal-in-washington-have-been-avoided-with-photo-id/ ) However, in September 2008, at a joint House Administration and House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on "Federal, State and Local Efforts to Prepare for the General 2008 Election,” James Terry, Chief Public Advocate, Consumers Rights League stated: "`ACORN routinely says it will clean up its act. Yet, given its decade-long history of voter fraud, embezzlement, and misuses of taxpayer funds, ACORN's pattern of fraud can no longer be dismissed as a series of “unfortunate events.”” His testimony is a scathing attack on a pattern of fraudulent behavior at every level of ACORN (http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/crl-testimony-acorns-voter-fraud/story.aspx?guid=%7B573B31D0-6AB7-4353-B8E7-91300F4DFF81%7D&dist=hppr).
One of the most obvious ways to prevent voter fraud is through a system of voter ID. Routinely, the requirement for voters to present a photo ID to vote is portrayed simply as a means to prevent African Americans from voting (http://truthaboutfraud.org/ ) However, there is never an explanation, short of some conspiracy theory, to prove this allegation. Further, according to a Rasmussen Report, 76% of those polled favored voter ID – including 66% of registered Democrats (http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_presidential_election/76_support_showing_photo_id_before_voting)
John Fund in “Democracy Imperiled,” in 2004 noted the widespread voter fraud in a number of cities including Baltimore, Milwaukee, New Orleans, and Philadelphia (where the number of registered voters exceeded the number of adults eligible to vote). Without requiring an ID to vote, “the illegal alien who assassinated the Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio was registered to vote in San Pedro, California — twice.” (http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/fund200409130633.asp) Sometimes the solution to a problem is so obvious it’s blinding.
All too often, government prosecutors are loathe to investigate charges of election fraud because, according to John Fund, “… they fear charges of racism or of a return to Jim Crow voter suppression tactics if they pursue touchy fraud cases” This is the problem in Alabama. According to an AP article in the Tuscaloosa News (18 October 2008) entitled, “6 counties have more voters than possible,” “The Birmingham News compared the state’s voter registration numbers with the Census Bureau’s population estimates and found more registered voters than voting-age adults in Conecuh, Greene, Lowndes, Perry, Washington and Wilcox counties.” (http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/article/20081018/NEWS/810170236/1007?Title=6_counties_have_more_voters_than_possible) The following chart shows that four of the six counties are predominantly African American, all are impoverished, and all are undereducated – a mixture ripe for abuse by those who will manipulate the system for their own aggrandizement.
A=County; B=%African American; C=Median Household Income (2004); D=%Below Poverty; E=Percent High School Graduates
Conecuh .........44..... $24,334 ...23.1...67.7
Greene ...........79..... $22,439 ...26.5...64.8
Lowndes .........71 ....$24,967 ...25.5 ...64.3
Perry ..............69 ....$21,640 ...30.4...62.4
Washington ...26 .....$32,147 ...18.1... 72.3
Wilcox ............72 .....$19,682 ...30.4 ...59.5
Alabama .......26.3 ...$37,062 ...16.1 ...75.3
US .................12.8 ...$44,334 ....12.7...80.4
An article similar to the one in the Tuscaloosa News appeared in the New York Times, “Officials Investigate 3 Alabama Counties in Voter Fraud Accusations” by Adam Nossiter (10 July 2008) detailing the charges of voter fraud using multiple suspicious absentee ballots (a long tradition in Alabama) where six times more absentee ballots were cast in Perry County (where the Black Panthers were founded) than the state average. One of Perry County’s commissioners, Albert Turner, Jr., charged that this was a racist plot. However, Michael W. Jackson, Perry County district attorney, an African-American and a Democrat, doesn’t hold Turner’s opinion of a conspiracy to disfranchise the blacks of Perry County. “`For there to be that many, it’s suspicious. When you get the absentee ballots, it’s a lot easier to pull that off, forge their names, vote for them.’ He added, “`It certainly needs to be looked at, because given the historic significance of Perry County, we want to make sure candidates and the public have a fair process.’” (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/10/us/10fraud.html?_r=7&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=login&oref=login&oref=login) A number of affidavits in Perry County demonstrate that some candidates, including Albert Turner, Jr. routinely buy votes. One of those who was paid by an associate of Turner stated, “`The last time I voted, I was paid $30,’ Mr. Collins said in a telephone interview this week, adding: `It’s pretty common. It ain’t nothing new.’” (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/10/us/10fraud.html?_r=7&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=login&oref=login&oref=login)
The real tragedy of unchecked voter fraud is that as more and more people see politics as a game without rules, voter turnout will continue to decline. John Fund notes, “This growing cynicism diminishes respect for the nation's institutions and lowers voter participation. Only 11 percent of the 18- to 19-year-olds eligible to vote for the first time now bother to go to the polls. The United States ranks139th out of 163 democracies in the rate of voter participation. The more that voting is left to the zealous or self-interested few, the more we see harshly personal campaigns that dispense with any positive vision of our national future.” In short, ignoring voter fraud undermines our democracy and elections degrade from a debate over philosophy and ideology into a vituperative combat of personalities.
Will state and federal investigators have the courage to pursue the loss of civil rights (whether it’s by ACORN or the Perry County commissioners) resulting from such flagrant voter fraud in the face of charges of racism, or will they, as has happened several times in the past decade in Alabama, simply abandon the people (of whatever race) to a political cabal that manipulates both race and political parties for their own aggrandizement?