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The Left's Illegal Vote Stealing Machine

Written by The Heritage Foundation

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October 22, 2008
The Heritage Foundation
The Left's Fraudulent, Embezzling, Illegal Vote Stealing Machine
Project Vote claims it is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization. The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) is also a nonprofit corporation organized under Louisiana law but, since it actively "carries out multiple issue campaigns,"1 it is a partisan organization that is subject to federal taxation.

This election year Project Vote and ACORN partnered to file 1.3 million new voter registrations, many of which have been proven to be utterly fraudulent . Project Vote proudly claims to have added large numbers of new voters to the rolls in 16 states. ACORN is now currently under investigation for encouraging vote fraud in 12 of them. Now the New York Times is reporting the Project Vote/ACORN partnership "may have led to violations of federal law." Apparently, Project Vote isn't exactly nonpartisan.

The Times has obtained an internal report by a lawyer representing ACORN detailing "potentially improper use of charitable dollars for political purposes; money transfers among the affiliates; and potential conflicts created by employees working for multiple affiliates, among other things." It turns out that while Project Vote is supposed to have an independent board, only one board member has not been either an ACORN staff member or ACORN dues contributor. Contacted about his listed membership on the board, ACORN member George Hampton told the Times: "I don't know anything about this." The Times reports that "the same people appeared to be deciding which regions to focus on for increased voter engagement for Acorn and Project Vote" and notes the internal report concludes "the tight relationship between Project Vote and Acorn made it impossible to document that Project Vote's money had been used in a strictly nonpartisan manner."

ACORN is just the tip of the left's vote fraud efforts. After all, it is hard to get away with vote fraud if the media are investigating it. Enter the professional vote fraud deniers at Talking Points Memo who have defended ACORN's fraudulent voter registration efforts and repeatedly denied that vote fraud exits. For example, when Heritage fellow Hans von Spakovsky published a paper detailing the recent history of voter fraud , Talking Points Memo responded by noting that the main case documented in the paper happened 24 years ago. Talking Points Memo completely ignored the other more recent cases of vote fraud that von Spakovsky documents, including incidents from Hoboken, N.J., and Noxubee, Miss., in 2007.

But those are just the examples von Spakosky can fit into one paper. Since 2003, 38 people have been convicted of vote fraud in Indiana alone. And a 1998 House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight report identified 624 invalid votes by non-citizens and another 124 improper absentee ballots in a single House race alone. Those 624 illegal votes were identified only by matching Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) database records on citizen applications with voter roles. The House investigation did not have the resources to detect if any illegal aliens, not in INS databases, had voted. A 2005 Government Accountability Office report concluded that many district attorneys will not devote resource to prosecuting what they see as a "victimless and non-violent" crime. But this is not just the fault of local officials. Federal agencies make it next to impossible to prosecute possible illegal voting by refusing to cooperate.

The left's efforts to cover up vote fraud extend past liberal activists like Talking Points Memo. ABC News has hired Talking Points Memo alum Justin Rood, who is now filing "straight news" stories propagating the liberal myth that vote fraud never happens. Conservatives have had to fight a biased media for years. Truly frightening is the efforts by Democrat officeholders to silence all dissent on the issue. Last week Obama for America general counsel Bob Bauer sent a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey directing him to investigate any Republican who mentioned ACORN's vote fraud efforts.

This was not the first time Obama worked with ACORN. In 1995 Obama served as ACORN's lead counsel in its suit to make it easier to file fraudulent voter registrations. In fact, Obama and ACORN share a common ideological: 1960s community organizer Saul Alinsky, who once wrote: "A People's Organization is dedicated to an eternal war. ... A war is not an intellectual debate, and in the war against social evils there are no rules of fair play." No fair play indeed.

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