Although conservatives will try their best to shoehorn all sorts of conspiracy theories into ACORN’s hugely successful voter registration drive, everything in the process worked exactly as it should. Some 35,000 people were registered to vote and only about 3 percent of those registration cards had any problems at all. That amounts to 2,000 cards with problems out of 35,000! The vast majority of those were cards that were not complete while only about 100 cards (again, out of 35,000) showed signs of potential mischief. Any cards that caused any concern were flagged by ACORN ahead of time and the information shared with the Election Commission.
Critical to note, as Milwaukee Election Commission head Sue Edman told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, under state law all registration cards had to be turned in, so ACORN noted the problematic cards when they submitted them to the Election Commission. ACORN deserves all the credit in the world for protecting the integrity of the system and following the letter of the law.
From the time that ACORN started their registration drive in December until its end in mid-July, they employed about 220 people as canvassers. Out of those 220 people only the cards gathered by 12 people were suspected of being fabricated. As soon as these issues were identified, ACORN fired them and notified the Election Commission. Whenever they notified the commission regarding concerns about people and/or cards they had to write why they suspected that something was wrong and state what they did to resolve the issue. The names of the 12 people that caused serious concern were given by the Election Commission officials to the District Attorney’s office. ACORN also took the step of pulling every registration card that was filled out by those 12 individuals, not just the ones for which there were clear concerns.
The bottom line, despite the inevitable frothing from conservatives, is that the ACORN voter registration drive was a huge success and everything worked exactly as it should. They successfully registered some 33,000 new voters which will likely help boost participation to record levels. This was done with great care and anything questionable was caught, flagged and shared with the proper authorities. Actually this drive should serve as an inspiration to the public because the various safeguards put in place in recent years worked properly and the very small areas of concern were caught and addressed immediately.
In the AP story about this registration drive a Republican official claimed that ‘we’re not afraid of high turnout ‘¦ We’re not interested in disenfranchising voters’¦’ If that is really true then they should be the first ones to congratulate ACORN and the Election Commission on a job well done. Tens of thousands of new voters were successfully registered in this drive and the small portion of issues were caught and dealt with exactly as they should have been. Any other reaction to this hugely successful registration drive and the process itself totally belies any statements of support for high voter turnout.