The Nut Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree

By Jesse Taylor
Sunday, October 19, 2008 17:59 EDT
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imageBelow the fold, I’m posting slightly truncated versions of a recruitment e-mail for the McCain campaign. They’d like law students to serve as voter challengers (presumably with the help of security officers and veterans, although that may just be a Milwaukee thing), and are throwing out the prospect of hordes of fake voter registrations somehow arising from their filing cabinets and data streams and rampaging down to the local precinct location and politely standing in line until the register their second, third and fourth votes for Dangerous Terrorist Barack Obama.

I’m putting this out here, because it needs to be said: ACORN is simply a cover for Republicans doing far worse things. Always has been, always will be. Even looking at the worst things ACORN is accused of, you simply aren’t looking at a substantial threat of anything worse than causing a registrar to sigh in resignation and stick a little Post-It flag to a sheet of paper.

Republicans tend to point to things like ACORN to justify the far sketchier actions that are the bread and butter (and delicious melted cheese) of their voter suppression activities. Republicans rely on “no match” lists, where voters whose information from, say, their driver’s license doesn’t exactly match their voter registration. I know, I know, it’s almost unheard of that people don’t pay to update their valid-for-three-years driver’s licenses every time they move or fill out a form that asks for their middle initial, but still, some such fools exist and prosper.

The vast majority of voter challenges have nothing to do with someone walking in and attempting to vote as Yosemite Sam – they have to do with people who have twelve-letter-long last names with a transposed letter, students who changed dorm rooms from year to year and forgot to reregister and the odd minority or two who thinks it’s okay to vote. It’s not Joe Namath of 123 Jets Way that comes into the voting booth, it’s Stephen K. Washington who’s on the rolls as Stephen L. Washington or Estelle Moore of 5418 E. Overbay Rd. who’s on the rolls at 5418 Overbey Rt. There is no “integrity” being monitored, only the wholehearted defense of pedantic bureaucratic nitpicking over the foolish presumption that voting is a good thing in a democracy.

It should be utterly chilling that a major party in American politics believes that its primary role on Election Day is restricting the franchise to those who have the means and the heritage to have simple names and stable addresses. Instead, it’s just seen as the necessary counterpart to the liberal insistence that democracy is virtuous because it is open to all rather than restricted to few.

Letter’s below. And I’m going to be doing voter protection with Obama’s campaign on November 4th, in no small part because of this.

As a law student, you can play a critical role in this historic election. We need the help of attorneys and law students like you in monitoring the integrity of this election.

Senator McCain and Governor Palin are committed to ensuring that every qualified citizen has a fundamental right to have his or her vote counted fairly and that no qualified citizen’s vote is diluted by a fraudulent one. That is where you as a law student can help. We need volunteers willing to join our Election Day legal team to monitoring the integrity of the 2008 general election in a contested state.

This is not a trivial matter. This year, we have already seen disturbing evidence of activities that could jeopardize the integrity of this election.

Organizations affiliated with the Democrats, such as Obama-linked ACORN have a long history of outright voter fraud. Numerous states have begun criminal investigation into ACORN registration activity this year, which has led to at least one indictment already. It has also been reported that ACORN has also hired convicted felons to conduct voter registration activities on behalf of the Democrats in New Mexico and Wisconsin.

It is critically important that we have volunteers with a legal education available on Election Day to monitor this election. The Obama campaign has already announced that they will have at least 9,000 such individuals in battleground states on November 4th. We cannot allow their efforts to be one-sided.

Joining in this effort is a fascinating and important way to participate in the election process, expand your legal knowledge, and meet other students as well as practicing attorneys interested in politics and election law. Please join us and make sure the 2008 general election is conducted with honesty and integrity!

Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor is an attorney and blogger from the great state of Ohio. He founded Pandagon in July, 2002, and has also served on the campaign and in the administration of former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. He focuses on politics, race, law and pop culture, as well as the odd personal digression when the mood strikes.
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