Accuracy in Media

With Election Day nearing, the politics surrounding the Association of Community Organizations Reform Now (ACORN) cannot just go away.

Now Hans von Spakovsky,
a fellow at Heritage Foundation, is warning that the nature and
substance of ACORN’s activities could be more pervasive than previously

At a recent briefing at Heritage, Spakovsky said ACORN might be even
more emboldened by a Supreme Court ruling this month concerning the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) in Ohio, which he suggested makes voter verification difficult.
The scholar says Democrats are not leveling with the electorate this
year regarding HAVA, yet they sought protection from it in 2004 in

“What is amusing is that this very issue came up in 2004, when the
Democratic party filed the first lawsuits under HAVA—against then-Ohio
secretary of state Ken Blackwell, a Republican. It was an effort to
force the state to count provisional ballots from individuals who voted
outside their assigned precincts. Of course, the Democratic party was
arguing then what the Republican party is now—that a private right for
HAVA exists,” he said in remarks also repeated on National Review’s
October 21 online edition.

Speaking of Democrat Jennifer Brunner’s 200,000 “mismatched” ballots,
voter fraud expert John Fund said on October 20 that: “I suspect a
majority, although not all of those 200,000, are valid voters, but
still even if its sixty thousand or forty thousand of those 200,000,
that’s still very troubling in a state that was won by a 115,000 votes
last time and those people, as we’ve found, some of those people did
already vote.”

Spakovsky castigated the Department of Justice for not pursuing the
case, saying the situation was setting a dangerous legal precedent.

At the briefing, he distributed three legal memoranda, outlining his
concerns about this year’s electoral process in view of the voter-fraud
allegations: Where there is smoke, there is fire: 100,000 stolen votes in Chicago; Absentee ballot fraud: A stolen election in Greene County, Alabama and The threat of non-citizen voting.

In the Chicago affair, Spakovsky says the city’s political machine
directed an enormous, decades-long voting fraud effort responsible for
at least 100,000 votes—one-tenth of all votes cast in the city—in the
hotly contested 1982 Illinois gubernatorial election.

“This fraud was accomplished by stealing the votes of the disabled and
elderly, impersonating absent voters, stuffing voter registration rolls
with fake or ineligible voters, registering aliens, casting fraudulent
absentee ballots, altering vote counts, and the outright purchasing of
votes,” he said, adding that similar tactics have come to light in
recent elections in Philadelphia and in the states of Wisconsin and
Tennessee, among other locations.

And he added: “Chicago’s experience points toward viable solutions to
the problem of voter fraud: careful vetting of voter registration lists
to remove ineligible or false names, stronger voter identification
measures such as an ID requirement, and bipartisan oversight of the
election process.”

He argued that Democrats are out to destroy the electoral process,
while at the same time presenting themselves as champions of democracy.

“The left has not had much power since 1965, and is currently
salivating for it. It now views compliance with electoral law as
optional, and not as one for which integrity is vital. We should not go
the Zimbabwe way,” he said, even as he accused the Democrats of abusing
the legal process to silence ACORN critics.

He cited recent correspondence from Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama’s legal team to the Justice Department asking for prosecution against those questioning ACORN’s activities.

“As Election Day approaches—just as in 2004 and 2006—Republican Party
officials and operatives nationwide, including the candidates
themselves, are fomenting specious vote fraud allegations, and there
are distorting indications of official involvement or
collusion.…Accordingly, I call on you and Special Prosecutor Dannehy to
expand her investigation to include these matters, all of them entirely
consistent with the pattern of misconduct already within her charge,”
Obama for America general counsel Bob Bauer is quoted as saying in a letter availed during the Heritage briefing.

In response, Spakovsky said: “The Obama campaign’s Stalinist-style
demand that a special prosecutor at the Department of Justice
criminally prosecute any candidates, party officials or congressmen who
discussed their concerns over voter fraud is an outrageous attempt to
use the power of the federal government to intimidate and persecute
political opponents. It is almost as if Senator Obama wants to
reinstitute the Alien and Sedition Acts and it brings into sharp focus
the issue of whether he understands the protections of the First
Amendment and the importance of fair and secure elections.”

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