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ACORN Cont’d

Investigative reporter Art Levine has a valuable overview of the ACORN voter registration controversy at Alternet.  He gives background and details to parts of the story that during the campaign got the kind of charge-countercharge media treatment that generates more heat than light. 

“Ugly attacks against ACORN” were a central element in a last-minute “vote-limiting strategy,” Levine writes — and he talks to ACORN workers terrorized by threats in the wake of attacks by politicians.  {He also quotes the Republican National Committee’s chief counsel with more incendiary language, calling ACORN “a quasi-criminal organization” seeking to “infilitrate this system” and “subvert” America’s foundation.)

One area of focus is the Lake County, Indiana, controversy.  ACORN says election officials discarded cover sheets identifying problematic registration applications and mixed bad registrations with good ones.  ACORN calls its Gary office its worst registration site — a quarter of 8,000 registrations collected were bad — and Levine reports the organization shut the office down for a month in late August while registrations were reviewed.

Lake County election officials accused ACORN of dumping thousands of last-minute registrations; ACORN says officials in fact delayed processing applications for weeks.  According to Levine, Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita at first declared ACORN hod to turn in all forms, and one week later asked prosecutors to charge ACORN for submitting false forms.

Voting rights attorneys, whose concerted efforts thwarted vote suppression schemes based on wholesale purges and challenges across the country, now fear a wave of legislation restricting ballot access “because of the spate of fear-mongering targeting ACORN,” Levine reports.

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Category: elections, organizing


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