ACORN Fears That Voters Are Being Silenced

sarah palinBy Paul Hughes

Sarah Palin Continues Attacks on Obama

Washington,DC(RushPRnews)10/20/08–Even as the nation’s highest court intervened to overturn a lower court’s decision in a related matter, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin continued to attack denials by Barack Obama that he has significant links to a group now under investigation for voter registration fraud.

Campaigning in Ohio, one of several swing states, Palin on Friday said Obama has not been truthful
about his ties to ACORN, the Association of Community Activists for Reform Now. The organization is
under investigation by the FBI for illegally registering thousands of voters in Ohio and other states.

“You deserve to know,” she told a rally of about 15,000 people.

Palin’s charges may have been a last ditch effort to capture additional support for her Republican
ticket. With just 14 days before the presidential election Nov. 4, polls show Sen. John McCain trailing
Obama by a significant margin.

An Obama campaign lawyer, Robert Bauer, denied Palin’s ongoing accusations, saying ACORN did not
act as an agent of the Obama campaign or perform registration services for the campaign.

The FBI is investigating whether ACORN helped foster voter registration fraud around the nation
before the presidential election. ACORN has acknowledged that some of its part-time canvassers had
submitted false or duplicate registrations, but that the number represents only a small fraction of the
1.5 million people the organization had registered to vote during this election cycle.

ACORN is the largest grassroots community organization of low to moderate income people in the
nation, with a membership of 400,000 families, according to statements at its web site. In the debate Wednesday, amid calls by McCain for full disclosure of Obama’s relationship with ACORN, the Democratic senator and attorney denied illegal ties to the group.

“The only involvement I’ve had with ACORN was I represented them alongside the U.S. Justice
Department in making Illinois implement a motor voter law that helped people get registered at
DMVs,” he said.

Federal law enforcement officials confirmed last week that the FBI is investigating ACORN-submitted
reports of fraudulent voter registration but sought to quell speculation that the federal agency is
conducting a broader investigation so close to the election.

In a related matter, the Supreme Court on Friday overturned a lower court decision that required Ohio
state officials to provide information about database mismatches to county officials. The decision is seen as a setback for Ohio Republicans, who had sued to force the Ohio secretary of state, Jennifer Brunner, to provide information about database mismatches to county officials. The decision could affect up to 600,000 new voters registered in Ohio since Jan. 1.

States are required, under the a 2002 federal law, the Help America Vote Act, or HAVA, to check voter
registration applications against government databases like those for driver’s license records. If there
are names that do not match, they are to be flagged. Such voters could then be required to fill out
provisional ballots. Furthermore, partisan poll workers could challenge people on the lists.
There has been much Democratic success this year in registering people to vote, so these actions could affect votes disproportionately.

In its brief, unsigned decision, the court expressed “no opinion on the question whether HAVA is
being properly implemented.” But it said that Congress probably did not intend to allow private
litigants like political parties to sue to enforce the part of the law concerning databases.

“Our nation’s highest court has protected the voting rights of all Ohioans, allowing our bipartisan
elections officials to continue preparing for a successful November election,” Brunner said in hailing
the decision. “We filed this appeal to protect all Ohio voters from illegal challenges and barriers that
unfairly silence the votes of some to the advantage of others.”

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