In an editorial this morning the New York Times leaps to ACORN’s defense:
Based on the information that has come to light so far, the charges appear to be wildly overblown — and intended to hobble Acorn’s efforts.
The group concedes that some of its hired canvassers have turned in tainted forms, although they say the ones with phony names constitute no more than 1 percent of the total turned in. The group also says it reviews all of the registration forms that come in. Before delivering the forms to elections offices, its supervisors flag any that appear to have problems.
According to Acorn, most of the forms that are now causing controversy are ones that it flagged and that unsympathetic election officials then publicized.
I wish I knew what the truth of the matter was. I do think that everybody who’s eligible should register and vote. How much out and out fraud was there? Do the cases of fraud constitute the entirety of fraudulent activity or are they just the tip of the iceberg? What’s an acceptable level of vote fraud? In nearby Lake County, Indiana the first 2,100 of 5,000 applications submitted by ACORN that registrars checked were fraudulent. That’s more than 1% and complaining about it doesn’t sound wildly overblown to me.
Frankly, I’m skeptical of the method. Paying people for voter registrations sounds like a plan specifically intended to produce a flood of registrations. Wasn’t one of Saul Alinsky’s principles to overwhelm the system with compliance?