At a time when there's a great deal of concern over the vulnerability of electronic voting machines to potential fraud and manipulation, a group of Democratic voter recruiters working for ACORN have reminded us that some people are still trying to steal elections the old fashioned way.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney's office in Kansas City handed down indictments against four paid voter recruiters who were part of a project run by left-leaning advocacy groups Project Vote and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), which had claimed to have registered 35,000 new voters in low income and minority neighborhoods in the Kansas City area in the past month.
It seems they met their registration quota by filling out false registrations, registering people multiple times — one person was registered seven times — and registering dead people. Kwaim A. Stenson, Dale D. Franklin, Brian Gardner, and Stephanie L. Davis were each charged with two counts of "knowingly and willingly" committing election fraud. Each charge carries a potential five years in prison and $250,000 fine.
ACORN is cooperating with the FBI and local officials in the investigation. Election officials suspect that up to half of these new registrations are fraudulent and they have already thrown out thousands of duplicates and sent letters to 5,000 new registrants to verify their existence.
Missouri has a long history of voter fraud and election problems going back centuries, but more recently, in the 2000 election, where tens of thousands of votes were thrown out, there were registration irregularities, some polling places were left entirely unattended for hours when anyone could have accessed the ballots, and other polling locations were kept open for hours after the official closing time. The 2004 election was even worse, with 16 Democratic party agents and officials in St. Louis alone convicted for a variety of election-related crimes — from buying votes to attempting to kill a witness in a vote fraud case. The Missouri Democratic party was fined by the Federal Election Commission for promoting fraud.
Attempts have been made to reform the electoral system in Missouri, consistently opposed by lawsuits from Democratic party groups. Clearly, Missouri is an electoral disaster and there's no reason to believe it's getting any better, but it's only the tip of the iceberg. The larger concern should be that ACORN and Project Vote are nationwide groups and there's every reason to assume that, in their zeal to impose political change on the country, they may be trying to bring the same kind of fraud and corruption they've practiced in Missouri to the rest of the country as well.