All over the news there is a discussion of voter fraud and the community group Acorn. I have even heard talk that some of the Acorn Registrars had gone to jail for fraud in the past. When I heard about these accusations I thought as a voter registrar myself that the way they did things you really could not say whether fraud was involved or not. The registrars that I have seen lately have a remarkably different style of registering voters than the group of fine registrars that I worked with and initiated to register voters.
I went to several festivals this summer where registrars were present but my first impression as I looked at them standing on and in corners in jeans and thin t-shirts is that I would be afraid to give them my information. They really did not look like they were too serious about registering people to vote and I’ve never seen them actually registering voters. When I heard that 50% of the ballots turned in were false, my first impression was that the people they registered were afraid to say no and gave them fake addresses. Then I heard that ACORN had registered dead people, and NFL football players. I thought my GOD this is terrible. and they say they wanted to prosecute the registrars or the hourly wage people for dong this. While they could falsely use the name of football players I seriously doubt that ordinary workers being paid minimum wage would register dead people. This is an organizational problem that goes high up. Sure poor people should be and deserve to be represented but not fraudulently. As a voter registrar the biggest problem I noticed while trying to register voters is that former felons thought they could not vote and thought that if they even registered they would go back to jail.
Finally I would like to take the time to pat myself and my team on the back for registering voters. During the course of a weekend Jazz Festival in 2007 my team and I registered 300 voters. We had several requirements, we had an official county registration meaning that we were not registering voters under an organization but agreed to represent the county in registering voters, all of us went through training by the county and became voter registrars, as apart of being a registrar we had to agree to allow the county to perform background checks. We all cleared. This was pretty significant to me because in the age of identity theft, people want to be assured that they are giving their information to people they can trust.
I went to about four trainings because I liked to go through the training with new registrars so we could meet each other and finally at the largest which was about 50 people a mysterious attorney came in and started challenging the right of counties to even train registrars and started talking about court cases giving people the right to just walk on the street and just start registering voters. This was very disturbing to me. While I feel that neighbors should help neighbors register each other or friends or relatives. My personal belief is that if you are in the public registering voters and someone gives you over 25 forms to register voters you should have a background check and a badge. I think that people who grab a stack of registration forms and solicit peoples personal information with out just the most basic nod from a county authority, or at least have one registrar in the vicinity should be jailed. Anyone could get twenty-five ballots from the library and take peoples information. In Georgia the one benefit from being a registrar is that when you register voters, their forms are cleared immediately all ID requirements have been satisfied. This was an additional reason why I thought is was so important to be a registrar, the form stated in 2007 if you are new to registering in Georgia you must mail in proof of ID. I could only imagine a nightmare situation of not being a registrar and having to find a copy machine to run off IDS. As a registrar I could look at people’s IDS for verification and it was over for them and me. Mistakes are made, I had one voter registration form where a woman had forgotten to sign her name, I turned it in unsigned because I will never sign someones signature even if I know that they intended to sign.
Finally I would like to say there is no excuse for voter fraud. I’ve registered voters with large groups of volunteers and we were extremely honest and the thought of fraud never occurred to us because we believed in the system and were trying to make it happen for people who may have forgotten or may not have had the time, or may not have known where to go. Finally I would like to say that we became registrars by meeting through the Obama website and at events and decided to represent our counties rather than Obama. We were all honest. For me the fact that Obama has funneled so much into a fraudulent organization is pretty strange when there are people who actually truthfully need to be registered.
If voter fraud is happening in the United States it will have a huge impact on the winner take all states in which there are 48 of them and two that use proportional representation. AS little as 100,000 fraudulaent votes could turn the whole presidential election. Bush won Florida by I believe 180, 000 votes.