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October 19, 2008

Arrest made in GOP voter registration scandal

Mark Jacoby, the president of a GOP signature-gathering firm accused of tricking California voters into registering as Republicans under the guise of signing a petition to keep pedophiles in jail, has been arrested in Ontario, CA on suspicion of voter fraud.

Jacoby's paid signature-gatherers are accused of actively deceiving Californians while YPM was under contract to the Republican Party.

An astonishing eighty percent of a random sample of voters registered by YPM in California told the LA Times that they had been tricked into registering as Republicans. YPM has registered 70,000 voters as Republicans in California in this election cycle alone.

It is not clear why YPM canvassers appear to have systematically misled would-be voters with a standardized questionnaire.

Perhaps the firm simply hoped to collect the $7-$12 bounty the GOP was offering for registrations.

There's also a more sinister and logically compatible possibility: Miscategorizing flesh and blood voting Democrats as Republicans could disrupt Democratic GOTV efforts, which are based in part on voter registration lists. These Democrats might miss out on literature, visits from canvassers, and other attention from the Obama campaign.

YPM has been also been accused of underhanded voter registration techniques in other states, including Florida and Arizona.

John McCain claimed last week that the liberal-leaning ACORN was attempting to perpetrate one of the greatest voter frauds in the history of America, a crime so vast it could destroy the very fabric of our democracy. McCain was alluding to a few thousand questionable voter registrations turned in by ACORN's paid signature-gatherers.

The McCain campaign and their surrogates have been aggressively pushing charges that ACORN itself was advancing its liberal agenda with these dubious registrations.

In fact, the signature-gatherers were taking advantage of ACORN by registering fictional voters and re-registering people who were already signed up to vote. These workers were trying to meet quotas in order to get paid for work they didn't do. Their deception deprived ACORN of the work it was paying for, namely, registering real poor people to vote.

ACORN turned in these questionable forms despite reservations about the veracity of registrations for "Mickey Mouse" and the starting lineup of a football team because it was legally required to do so.

Groups that register voters must turn in all the forms they get in order to prevent unscrupulous actors from throwing away forms from individuals they view as politically unsympathetic. In most cases, ACORN itself alerted the authorities to questionable submissions.

The charges against Jacoby and YPM, if true, are far more serious than any of the allegations against ACORN.

The ACORN canvassers were registering fictional characters who couldn't possibly show up to vote--especially not with the new federal photo ID requirements. There's no way ACORN instructed its canvassers to register fictional characters. Phony registrations were undermining ACORN's mission, not advancing it.

Whereas, YPM canvassers allegedly lied to real-life voters in order to register them against their will. This deception might affect the outcome election if it interfered with GOTV efforts by the Obama camp or future Democratic campaigns.


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b-money (how fitting that a reichwinger would be so obsessed with monetary wealth, as to include it in an username), why is you wingnuts can't stay away from sites like this? there are plenty of sites devoted to the sickness we call "republican". it isn't that i wouldn't welcome actual discussion with someone from the wrong side of the political tracks, it's that your type seems incapable of such. i love how you bring up senator obama's tax plan in a discussion related to some jerk tricking people into registering, republican, that is.
do you make over $250,000 per year? is that the problem? afraid you might have to give a little back to your fellow citizens? terrified that a country reichwingers claim(falsely!)is christian might actually enforce some of the basics of christianity?
while we're off topic...since you, b-greedy, brought up higher taxes for the rich 5%...what is it you rethuglicans fear about helping your fellow citizens? aren't you the first to point a finger and yell "anti-american!!!"? why do you hate your fellow citizens so? just because sooooooo many of your fellow americans have been financially screwed by the top 5%?
also, please explain to the latte drinking, volvo driving, elitist of us, what is so freaking great about mccain's tax plan? hmmmmmm? more tax cuts for the uber-wealthy while i country stands at the brink of another great depression? you like that idea, really? tell me how THAT is some brilliant idea - and a brilliant idea from an old man who openly admits he doesn't understand economics.
is it that you are one of the "morans" who doesn't have actual monetary wealth, but clings to the carrot of future wealth the right put before you, and dreads the day you MIGHT be wealthy and have to pay your fair share of taxes? is that why you vote against your own best interests?
as far as ACORN goes...give me a freaking break. no one, NO ONE, is showing up to vote with a freaking mickey mouse i.d. unlike the unfortunate victims of a repugnantcan who are, unfortunately for them, actually now a registered rethuglican...thanks to unethical trickery from the right. hmmmm, can't get any more americans to foolishly register for the party that could care less about anyone making less than $250,000/year? don't worry...just fraud them into signing up for the party of the white, privileged elite!

The ACORN canvassers were registering fictional characters who couldn't possibly show up to vote--especially not with the new federal photo ID requirements.

You're right that they couldn't possibly show up to vote, but are there really federal photo ID requirements? I thought Indiana was the only state with a photo ID requirement, and there are in fact basically no federal requirements for voting, since that's a state issue.

Anyway, it is pretty crazy that they cry "voter fraud" all over the place at ACORN when there are only a handful of cases where there's even a suggestion of illegal voting, while this really weird and crazy thing is going on with Republican-organized voter registration. (I call this "weird and crazy" because it at least doesn't sound like it's going to deprive many people of the vote, except for the way that it interferes with partisan information drives and the like.)

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