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Voter Registration Fraud Arrest:

The LA Times reports:

The owner of a firm that the California Republican Party hired to register tens of thousands of voters this year was arrested in Ontario late last night on suspicion of voter registration fraud.

State and local investigators allege that Mark Jacoby fraudulently registered himself to vote at a childhood California address where he no longer lives so he would appear to meet the legal requirement that signature gatherers be eligible to vote in California.

Jacoby's arrest by state investigators and the Ontario Police Department comes after dozens of voters said they were duped into registering as Republicans by his firm, Young Political Majors, or YPM. The voters said YPM tricked them by saying they were signing a petition to toughen penalties against child molesters.

One thing that confuses me about this story is that the U.S. Court of Appeals struck down Arizona's residency requirements for circulators of candidate nominating petitions this past summer in Nader v. Brewer. So am I wrong in thinking Mr. Jacoby may have fraudulently registered at a California address in order to comply with a law that could not have been enforced against him in the first place?

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Voter Registration Fraud Arrest:
  2. Republicans Commit Registration Fraud Too:
cboldt (mail):
-- So am I wrong in thinking Mr. Jacoby may have fraudulently registered at a California address in order to comply with a law that could not have been enforced against him in the first place? --
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I think you're right. But I see the law that he flouted not so much as one that could be used against him, it would be used to invalidate the "signatures he gathered."
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IOW, his disqualification to gather signatures doesn't carry a personal penalty.
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OTOH, his falsification for the purpose of registering himself to vote in CA is a violation, and ought to be punished to the full extent of the law.
10.19.2008 10:49pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
You certainly seem to be right about the invalidity of the residency requirement for circulators.

I'm wondering why Jacoby wasn't also charged with registration fraud for duping people into registering as Republicans, for which there seems to be ample evidence?
10.19.2008 10:58pm
Larry Sheldon:
Thank God it was a Republican that got caught.
10.19.2008 11:01pm
Matt_T:
Excellent! Let the prosecutions begin.
10.19.2008 11:03pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
Wow, a dozens and dozens in California? That could give McCain, 5 or 6 more votes and he could actually only lose by 29 points instead of thirty.

Funny hoq quick the trusty MSM was on that one.
10.19.2008 11:09pm
cboldt (mail):
Reading the various news-outlet stories, I have to LOL at the intelligence of a person who would agree to change a party affiliation registration, just to be able to sign a petition.
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State Democratic spokesman Bob Mulholland said people were told they can sign the anti-child-molester petition only if they switch allegiance to the Republican Party. Even if that is legal, he said, "they absolutely cannot get away with changing party registrations."

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Hey ... if the person is told, "you have to change," whether that is true or not, they have a choice. And if they sign a paper that says "change me," no duress involved, what's the beef? Somebody tells me that, I don't care how much I believe in what the petition is about, I'm going to laugh in their face and make a public show of it.
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Hydrogen and stupidity.
10.19.2008 11:16pm
Fub:
The voters said YPM tricked them by saying they were signing a petition to toughen penalties against child molesters.
I find it odd that someone could be "tricked" into thinking they were signing a petition, if the form they were signing was labeled "Voter Registration". Makes me wonder if he was convincing illiterates to register.

I'd give plenty of credence to someone who was tricked by a fine-print contract full of legalese, but voter reg forms are pretty hard to disguise as a petition.
10.19.2008 11:19pm
Paul Milligan (mail):
"YPM tricked them by saying they were signing a petition to toughen penalties against child molesters"

And the idiots supposedly couldn't tell the difference ? Do they not read what some stranger asks them to sign before they sign it ?

Do voter registration forms not have something at the very top in big letters that says 'Voter Registration Form' ???

I call 'bullshit'.
10.19.2008 11:32pm
RPT (mail):
Anyone who uses the buzzword "MSM" should be disqualified from voting.
10.19.2008 11:36pm
Daryl Herbert (www):
Brian G, I'm guessing the voter fraud was for the purpose of affecting local races, not statewide races.

All fraud is nasty and must be rooted out and destroyed.

Of course, the media will report this as if it's equal to the fraud perpetrated by ACORN. They will "balance" their stories about massive, nationwide fraud on a giant scale with references to this tiny operation.

This fraudster should be imprisoned for a long time if he's guilty of the allegations against him. But that doesn't mean that stealing 100 votes is equal, news-wise, to stealing 100,000.
10.19.2008 11:40pm
Brian K (mail):
Anyone who uses the buzzword "MSM" should be disqualified from voting.

seconded.
10.19.2008 11:43pm
Floridan:
If Jacoby is not associated with ACORN, who cares?
10.19.2008 11:50pm
geokstr:
Wow, they move fast when it's a republican.

I figure about the time Obama has finished his second term, the FBI will conclude that their investigation proves that ACORN was wrongly accused by those despicable, rightwing Palinitlerites in the 2008 elections.
10.20.2008 12:14am
Anonynous (mail):
If he fraudulently registered to vote at an improper address, he should suffer the same fate as others who have done so - no more, no less. IIRC, there was a case in Santa Cruz County a few years back that attracted quite a bit of notoriety.

As to the registration complaints from actual voters: lucky for them, they are registered to vote, just not in the party they wanted to be registered in. That makes no difference on November 4, 2008. They get to vote for the candidates of their choice. ACORN's problem, OTOH, appears to be registering thousands of non-existent persons to vote. If THEY somehow manage to vote on election day, society is the loser.
10.20.2008 12:24am
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
I'm amazed that anyone takes seriously the claim that ACORN has engaged in massive registration fraud. Not only is there no evidence for this, but ACORN's explanation that it flags questionable registration forms itself (and that it must submit them rather then destroying them as a matter of law in most states) has gone unrebutted. The FBI investigation probably won't take very long at all because there is nothing much to investigate.
10.20.2008 12:40am
Harry Eagar (mail):
I am persuaded that ACORN badly managed an underfunded voter registration drive.

I am not persuaded that ACORN had a sophisticated, foolproof scheme operating to gain access to ballots for hundreds of thousands of ineligible or even non-existent voters.

At least where I vote, they mark your name off when you vote. If somebody else claiming to be me, with my address, shows up. he's out of luck.
10.20.2008 12:52am
cboldt (mail):
-- At least where I vote, they mark your name off when you vote. If somebody else claiming to be me, with my address, shows up. he's out of luck. --
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Manufactured votes don't require the presence of a voter. They just require the presence of an unvoted registration. You know, like when dead people vote? They aren't actually in the polling place.
10.20.2008 1:00am
Buck Turgidson (mail):
Wow, they move fast when it's a republican.

Actually, that's not the case. There have been persistent complaints involving YPM over the past four years. Nothing ever happened. Last month Dems in the same county filed a lawsuit against another company (that subcontracted YPM) charging exactly the same violations (changing voter's party affiliation without notice, misleading voters into reregistering, etc.). The suit was eventually dropped (likely because they accused the wrong Arno brother--the one who has been dead for a few years--of wrongdoing!), but the accusations remained. Now the YPM guy gets caught in fraud. Oops!

It is possible that the guy got caught because of the follow up on the suit or some other related investigation. But it is highly unlikely that the arrest happened because someone "moved fast" on a Republican.
10.20.2008 1:56am
Harry Eagar (mail):
Dunno how it works where you live, cboldt, but dead folks don't vote where I live.

You have to walk up (or, at the least, roll up in a wheelchair), which dead people are not so good at; or, you can file some paperwork, but it's not so automatic that a vote by, say, Mickey Mouse, would be processed.

Sheesh.
10.20.2008 2:50am
PDXLawyer (mail):
Let me try to explain, Harry. The concern isn't that zombies are going to vote. The concern is that partisan precinct workers will literally stuff the ballot box.

But, ballot box stuffing isn't that easy. How does a crooked precinct worker explain turning in 250 ballots, when only 150 people voted? Answer - the crook fakes the sign-in records to show that 100 people who actually never showed up voted. Now the number of ballots and the number of "voters" match. But, the only way a crook can do this is if there are 100 registered voters who don't actually show up.

And, in fact, if the crook wants to be even semi-plausible it's harder still. They can't report that 99% of eligible voters in the precinct showed up, because nobody'd believe that. Even Mayor Daley's Machine never tried anything like that. But, if 50% of the registrations in the crook's precinct are fictitious, the whole process becomes a lot easier. If the crook's precinct has 250 real registrations and 250 fictitious registrations, and 150 real voters show up and the crook adds 100 extra, stuffed, ballots, the numbers look just fine. The crook's precinct has had only a 50% turnout (250 votes turned in as against 500 registered voters).

So, if a party is going to stuff ballot boxes in selected precincts, and they are not a bunch of second-rate amateur first-time fraudsters, the obvious first step is to inflate the voting roles. Better still if this can be done in a way that nobody is in a position to estimate the exact incidence or distribution of invalid registrations.

Clear now why registration fraud is worrisome?
10.20.2008 4:51am
Andrew MacDonald (mail):
Do you have any evidence, at all, that there is something coordinated going on between mostly elderly poll volunteers and ACORN?

Or is this just more of the feverished attempt by Fox et al. to lay the groundwork for explaining away the upcoming election defeat as "we wuz robbed"
10.20.2008 6:00am
just me (mail):
Do you have any evidence, at all, that there is something coordinated going on between mostly elderly poll volunteers and ACORN?

It isn't necessarily the poll volunteers that would be doing the stuffing, but the actual election officials that in many jurisdictions are elected and partisan.

Think back to the 2000 election-the people who were counting all those chads weren't volunteers, but the election board members.

The beauty of this kind of fraud though is that unless you catch the person in the act, it is pretty much impossible to prove or disprove.

As for the guy in California-if he broke the law, he broke the law. Although it doesn't sound like he was registering fake people, he was just registering people who are unlikely to vote for anyone in his party-not sure what that gains him other than the fee for the switch.

I too wonder how somebody can think they are signing a petition that is really a change in voter registration-seems like that kind of dupe is right up there with the guy who sends you emails asking for your bank information so he can wire you a million bucks from AFrica.
10.20.2008 7:27am
PersonFromPorlock:
Without making any assertion as to its liklihood, processing the 'admittedly suspect' registrations ACORN submits could still occupy the time a SoS's office would otherwise use to vet the rest of ACORN's product. Anyone know if this actually happens?
10.20.2008 7:48am
just me (mail):
Without making any assertion as to its liklihood, processing the 'admittedly suspect' registrations ACORN submits could still occupy the time a SoS's office would otherwise use to vet the rest of ACORN's product. Anyone know if this actually happens?


In Florida some of the articles indicate that they have pretty much given up on trying to get felons, who don't have the right to vote in that state, off the list because they have so many registrations to sift through and compare.

So my guess is that all those fake registrations occupy the time of election officials and probably result in inelligible or non existent voters being left on the list.
10.20.2008 7:59am
Eli Rabett (www):
Harry wrote


I am not persuaded that ACORN had a sophisticated, foolproof scheme operating to gain access to ballots for hundreds of thousands of ineligible or even non-existent voters.


Why does it have to be either, given that there are lots of unregistered people eligible to vote and that the barriers to voting fraud are much higher than that to registration fraud?

Also, Harry the traditional way that great-grandpa votes is to send the beggar on the corner to do it for him for a couple of bucks.
10.20.2008 8:19am
smitty1e:
Nail to the wall anyone borking any phase of the political process.
10.20.2008 8:59am
Andrew MacDonald (mail):
It isn't necessarily the poll volunteers that would be doing the stuffing, but the actual election officials that in many jurisdictions are elected and partisan.

This conspiracy theory is ridiculous. So, let's get this straight.

1) Election officials, nationwide, in a coordinated effort with ACORN, make sure that there are significant number of false registrations on file

2) On election day, said election official uses these fake names to vote (when, where, and how of it nevermind, despite polling places being in lockdown and thousands of observers stationed across the county)

3) This is done nationwide, in large scale, and manages to be completely secret and not one word leaks out about it.

Really? Really?!?

And, if you are an election official hell-bent on throwing an election, why bother with ACORN in the first place? Presumably if you have time to cast hundreds of fake votes on election day, you would have all the time in the world before the election to fake the registrations themselves, without having to bring ACORN into the conspiracy. Cut out the unreliable middleman...
10.20.2008 8:59am
cboldt (mail):
-- This conspiracy theory is ridiculous. --
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And there are very few fraudulent votes cast in Chicago-style elections.
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The strawman you concocted notwithstanding, there needn't be any organized conspiracy whatsoever. All it takes is a large enough group of like-objective determined people, sufficient number of which are willing to bribe, intimidate and otherwise cheat, and votes can be manufactured.
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Once the tainted ballot is scrambled in with the rest of the ballot pool, there is no way to separate the manufactured votes from the honest ones.
10.20.2008 9:09am
JosephSlater (mail):
ZOMBIE VOTERS!!! ZOMBIE VOTERS!!!
10.20.2008 9:12am
John Burgess (mail) (www):
The above comments seem to ignore the possibility of absentee voting fraud.

Ostensibly in the name of the registered (but non-existent) voter, it's not that difficult for a dozen votes here, a couple dozen votes there, to be recorded fraudulently. No need to get the polling staff involved, just a few willing individuals to fill in the ballots. This is particularly the case in those states that have weak voter ID verification rules for their absentee ballots.
10.20.2008 10:06am
TruthInAdvertising:
"Ostensibly in the name of the registered (but non-existent) voter, it's not that difficult for a dozen votes here, a couple dozen votes there, to be recorded fraudulently."

I can accept that a certain amount of "fraudulent" voting goes on (like when a husband dictates his wife's vote or when a caretaker fills out a ballot for an elderly voter who may not be fully aware of what is going on). But you also have to acknowledge that it's likely happened in every election and in many localities to the benefit of both Republicans and Democrats.
10.20.2008 11:02am
Justin (mail):
Andrew, we are past "Really" with this one, and into the realm of "Oh My God! Are you Serious?"
10.20.2008 11:30am
PatHMV (mail) (www):
JosephSlater:

1) You keep talking about "nationwide." Voter fraud need not be nationwide in order to successfully swing a presidential election. Remember Florida? A few thousand votes in a couple of key swing states is sufficient to alter the outcome.

2) Little "coordination" is needed. First of all, by submitting tens of thousands of registrations, thousands of them bogus, ACORN insures that the local officials will be so overwhelmed that they can do very little vetting of the names. It takes time to actually drive up to an address to see if it's even physically possible for 100 people to all live there. Even "Mickey Mouse" has to be checked, because people name their kids weird things these days, and you can't know for sure without actually checking. So all the local registrar of voters has to do is process the forms with little if any checking because, you know, they don't have a huge staff for that.

3) Poll commissioners are not uniformly honest, nor are they all old retired people. In nice, clean, up-scale precincts, sure, they have a better chance of having several reliable, honest poll commissioners working, and it would be hard to get them to throw the election. But in other places, people aren't always so innately honest and selfless that they would pass up the chance to earn a few extra hundred dollars. All it really takes is one out-and-out crooked poll commissioner in a precinct, and for the other commissioners to take the afternoon off an hour before the polls close. Then the crooked one can easily see who has and hasn't voted, and cast votes on behalf of a bunch of them.

4) Again on the point of coordination, the crooked commissioner doesn't have to have some list of the fraudulently registered voters, supplied to him by ACORN or whomever. All he needs is a large number of registrations in his precinct who are unlikely to vote. If he waits to an hour, even a half hour, before the polls closed (hell, he can wait until just after, and claim that the machine closed late because there was a long line), then the odds of anybody coming in and trying to vote after he's fraudulently voted for them is slim. And worst case scenario, one such voter does, and that voter is conscientious enough to spot that he's being asked to sign on a line not his own name, and even more conscientious (and brave) enough to report it, well, then that's just one mistake, right? Can't prosecute an over-worked poll commissioner for one little mistake, can you? Surely that one little mistake couldn't influence the election, what's the big deal?

5) You ignore absentee ballots, where there are NO poll commissioners. Again, this scam relies heavily on the small budgets allotted to elections officials, and our general unwillingness to toss any votes out, without specific proof of the fraudulency of each and every one of them. If tens of thousands of phony registrations end up on the list, because the registrar doesn't have the resources to track down each and every one, then a committed fraudster could, without any involvement from elections officials at all, submit absentee votes for all of those phony registrations. Once in the pipeline, they are almost certain to be counted.
10.20.2008 11:33am
PatHMV (mail) (www):
That last should have been addressed to Andrew McDonald, though I suspect Joseph Slater agrees with him.
10.20.2008 11:35am
Angus:
In nice, clean, up-scale precincts, sure, they have a better chance of having several reliable, honest poll commissioners working, and it would be hard to get them to throw the election. But in other places, people aren't always so innately honest and selfless that they would pass up the chance to earn a few extra hundred dollars.
I'm trying hard not to see this, but it reads like:
Wealthy whites = honest
Poor minorities = dishonest

That might not be your intention, but perhaps you could clarify.

My understanding is that almost all polling places have observers from both political parties present.
10.20.2008 11:41am
Oren:
Paul wrote:
And the idiots supposedly couldn't tell the difference ? Do they not read what some stranger asks them to sign before they sign it ?

Do you know how many signatures Jimmy Kimmel gathered to end women's suffrage? Are your seriously making an argument that hinges on the perceptive power of the average moron on the street?
10.20.2008 11:43am
PC:
All it takes is a large enough group of like-objective determined people, sufficient number of which are willing to bribe, intimidate and otherwise cheat, and votes can be manufactured.

So it's not a conspiracy, it's a Stand Alone Complex?

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you're going to fall
10.20.2008 11:56am
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Angus... I meant what I said and said what I meant. How you interpret them is a reflection of you, not me. There are dishonest people everywhere, and no party and no race has an exclusive on such behavior. In general, however, it's easier to find somebody willing to take a $100 bribe in an area where the average annual income is $10,000 then in an area where it's $40,000. Also, there's a higher concentration in the wealthier areas of people likely to be believed and taken seriously if they were to be the voter who stumbled upon their name having already been voted. Residents of such areas don't get much media attention, and politicians tend to ignore them most of the time. Race is your own invention entirely. The same phenomenon can certainly happen in poor white areas just as well as poor black areas. For me, that goes without saying. Clearly not for you.

As for having observers from both political parties, that's not been my experience. There's plenty of precincts out there that are nearly one-party precincts. In the 2004 election, there were 185,994 voting precincts in this country. Neither party has anywhere near a sufficient number of volunteers to be present in all of them, or even most of them.
10.20.2008 11:58am
Eli Rabett (www):
I think the point was made above but it is worth repeating actual voter fraud by sending someone to the poll is retail. It can have an effect when there are a small number of voters for sure, but is unlikely to do so in larger ones.
10.20.2008 12:27pm
Jeffrey Hall (www):
Bill Poser : I'm wondering why Jacoby wasn't also charged with registration fraud for duping people into registering as Republicans, for which there seems to be ample evidence?

Perhaps the prosecutor has a different standard of what "ample evidence" means than the blogosphere does.
10.20.2008 12:37pm
Jerry Mimsy (www):
Regarding even having to check out Mickey Mouse because people name their children weird things nowadays. It doesn't have to be weird, just a not-so-obvious joke. Mouse does exist as a last name; given the not-quite-obvious joke names I've seen given to my friends over the years, I expect there is at least one Michael Mouse out there who goes by Mickey. (I roomed with Bruce Wayne in college a couple of decades ago. Joke or not?)

I did a quick search of an on-line phonebook for California, and found several "M. Mouse" and "Mickey Mouse" entries (though I suspect that the one for 500 S Buena Vista St, Burbank has very large ears). A few show up hidden among the Disney, Tales of the City, and George Michael mouse pad links on Google as well.
10.20.2008 12:38pm
pauldom:

Even "Mickey Mouse" has to be checked, because people name their kids weird things these days, and you can't know for sure without actually checking. So all the local registrar of voters has to do is process the forms with little if any checking because, you know, they don't have a huge staff for that.

Doesn't this argument remove some responsibility for submitting fake registration forms from ACORN workers? They don't have access to the official databases, so how can they be expected to know when a potential voter is lying to them? Of course those workers who fraudulently complete fake forms themselves would know, but many of the specific examples reported have involved potential voters, not ACORN employees, filling out the forms.

Again, this scam relies heavily on the small budgets allotted to elections officials, and our general unwillingness to toss any votes out, without specific proof of the fraudulency of each and every one of them.

As someone unwilling to toss votes out "without specific proof" that they are fraudulent, I wholeheartedly support larger budgets for election officials.
10.20.2008 1:15pm
Connecticut Lawyer (mail):
The NY Post today has a front page article about several maroons from NYC who rented a house in Ohio, moved there for 30 days, registered to vote, and then moved back home to NY where they voted in Ohio by absentee ballot. If you were thinking these must have been ignorant, poor people, guess again. They were wealthy, highly educated New Yorkers. Oh, and by the way, they were all Obama supporters.

Happily, the local DA in Ohio is investigating them for vote fraud. I wonder if ignorance of the law is a defense here since they are claiming that they thought they could register in Ohio just by living there for 30 days - the law in Ohio is that you have to have the intent to remain permanently in order to register to vote. Any Ohio election law experts out there?
10.20.2008 1:20pm
Oren:

the law in Ohio is that you have to have the intent to remain permanently in order to register to vote. Any Ohio election law experts out there?

Seems like the messed up by declaring their intentions. They could have just moved with the intent to remain permanently and then changed their minds and moved back.
10.20.2008 1:54pm
Oren:


Perhaps the prosecutor has a different standard of what "ample evidence" means than the blogosphere does.

That bears repeating. Doubly so in threads about voter fraud.
10.20.2008 1:55pm
josh:
Just waiting for a post about this:

http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2008/10/20/ mi-republicans-admit-to-illegal-foreclosure -scheme-surrender-to-democrats/
10.20.2008 2:40pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
'In general, however, it's easier to find somebody willing to take a $100 bribe in an area where the average annual income is $10,000 then in an area where it's $40,000.'

This has never been my experience. I am in the $40K+ category and I get offered bribes in $100 range couple times a month. It's all genteel, and not usually cash, but it is what it is.

Anyhow, it still seems to me that ACORN's subtle plot to overturn the will of the electorate wasn't quite subtle enough, since it's been sussed by a bunch of blog commenters without even rising from the keyboards.

I was rather more concerned about those $1,200 bribes the Bush administration passed out in May, but apparently everybody has forgotten them in the rush of later events.
10.20.2008 2:58pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Maybe if I ask again something will turn up. Is there proof that ACORN's work has ever led to a single fraudulent vote?

I realize that absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence. And that there are unknown unknowns etc. But I'm just wondering, since McCain said they were "maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy." He wouldn't say that unless there was actually proof that ACORN stole a couple of votes, right?
10.20.2008 4:19pm
just me (mail):
Yes ACORN is completely innocent of any wrong doing at any level.

The problem for ACORN is that what they do isnt a one off. There is a pattern.

I really think a good deal of the solution is to end third party registrants. If third parties want to get people registered, they should help haul the people to the places to legally register. This should cut down on fraudulent registrations and possibly some double and triple registrations.
10.20.2008 4:50pm
Sarah (mail) (www):
Registering fake people to vote is a crime. Falsifying documents -- especially the kind that say stuff like "lying on this document is a crime" -- is a crime. Convincing people to change their registration from one party to another (to affect primary elections in jurisdictions where you can't switch your party at the time of a given primary, and the distribution of the target party's publicity efforts in any jurisdiction) is sleazy, and reflects badly on everyone, though it may or may not be a crime.

In regards to the confusing bit about the gatherers-must-live-here law -- if you commit a crime in order to avoid being held to a law that can't, in the eyes of the Supreme Court, be enforced against you (say, shooting a police officer so he won't shut down a printing press you were about to use to publish something that might make people mad,) does it really matter what the motivation was? You're still up for murder even if you did it for a stupid reason, right?
10.20.2008 7:14pm
NotMyRealName:
PDXLawyer --

I appreciate the explanation for your concern regards to registration fraud. It sounds like your concern is that voter registration fraud means that a crew of malicious poll workers who is determined to stuff the ballot box, can stuff a few more ballots. OK.

But I suggest we look at this quantitatively. I expect the number of fraudulent registrations is (at most) a very small fraction of the overall number of registered voters. As a consequence, the effect on the number of bogus ballots that rogue poll workers can introduce is very small, in relative terms. I expect that the fraction of registrations that are fraudulent is so small that it probably has only a minor impact on ballot-stuffing attacks.

It seems to me there are other, better ways to deal with ballot stuffing. If the concern was truly about ballot-stuffing, it seems to me the rational response would be to focus on other methods that are more effective at countering ballot-stuffing: e.g., randomized assignment of poll workers (to break up conspiracies), chain of custody protections, stronger transparency provisions, election observers, roster reconciliation (where you reconcile the number of voters who signed in against the number of cast ballots), better signature checking, statistical sampling of the roster sheets to poll voters and find out whether they really did vote, and the like. But my experience is that folks who raise the specter of voter registration fraud rarely evince much enthusiasm in such measures. As a result, I'm tempted to conclude that fears about voter registration fraud must either be typically based upon something other than ballot-stuffing, or else must be irrational.

Ballot stuffing has been rare in the US in recent times. Voter registration fraud is also relatively rare (measured as a fraction of the overall number of registered voter). I understand that people are concerned, but I wonder if this may be an instance of a broader theme: humans are often not very good at judging risks, and sometimes get scared out of proportion to low-probability events.
10.20.2008 8:36pm
arbitraryaardvark (mail) (www):
I wish I knew more about the facts of this case. Is it like a person who is still registered at their parents' house while they actually live out of dorms and hotel rooms before settling down somewhere? That's pretty common,and the guy would have a strong claim of selective prosecution. Or was this a place he lived when he was a little kid and hasn't been back to in x years and has a clearly established new domicile somewhere else?
Re the ohio case: I have no intent to remain in Indiana permanently. But I've been here 15 years and want to vote here. Judge said he'd rule by last Friday and it's now Monday and no ruling yet; I may or may not get to vote.
If the Ohio law statute requires intent to stay, that's a problem. If it requires intent to establish domicile, that's a different matter. (Election law is tricky about applying residency and domicile differently than those terms are used elsewhere in law.)
10.20.2008 9:04pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
just:

Yes ACORN is completely innocent of any wrong doing at any level.


Nice job with the straw man, but I asked a specific question. I guess this is your way of telling me that the answer to my question is no.

By the way, I don't think the NY Post is a reputable source.
10.20.2008 10:33pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
'(Election law is tricky about applying residency and domicile differently than those terms are used elsewhere in law.)'

Or even within election law. In my county, we have just had a ruling that a candidate for council, running for a seat that requires candidates to live on a certain island, is a resident, although he acknowledges that he lives, works and sleeps on another island, and has for years.

However, he 'intends' to go to the other island at some unspecified time.

I was surprised to learn, years ago, that congressional candidates do not have to live in their districts. My congresswoman had not lived in my district since her girlhood, about 50 years previous.

Tricky law indeed.
10.20.2008 10:38pm