Former Sens. John Danforth (R-Mo.) and Warren Rudman (R-NH) reissued an invitation today to Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee to cooperate on potential Election Day problems, including voter fraud. The senators based their request to form an “Honest and Open Election Committee,” as a result of increased allegations of election fraud by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, a group that works to register low-income people.
Sen. John McCain, Gov. Sarah Palin and the Republican National Committee have placed a bullseye on ACORN and believe that they can tarnish Obama’s character by connecting him to ACORN’s problems. A memo released by the McCain-Palin campaign said that “According to election officials across the country, about 50% of ACORN’s voter registrations are fictitious.”
This election, ACORN along with Project Vote, has generated the largest voter registration drive in history. Its voter mobilization arm registered 1.3 million people, including many low-income Hispanics and African-Americans, who are among those most likely to vote Democratic.
“Given the extensive relationship between Barack Obama and ACORN, our campaign also feels that Sen. Obama has a responsibility to rein in ACORN’s efforts and to work aggressively against wide-scale voter fraud. In addition, McCain has reached out to Rep. John Conyers, chairman of the judiciary committee, to reject reports on voter challenges based on home foreclosures.
Although, the McCain camp said neither Obama nor the DNC responded to the RNC’s invitation to form the Honest and Open Election Committee, David Plouffe, campaign manager for Obama sent out an email today proving that he had in fact responded in September to their overture.
Plouffe wrote: “If your concern truly lies with ‘Honest and Open Elections,’ then your work properly and effectively begins at home—with the Republican operatives who are planning and running suppressive programs.”
Plouffe listed four different instances in Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin, and Ohio where Republican leadership participated in “voter caging” or attempts to remove eligible voters from rolls based on bogus accusations of “voter fraud.”
Most recently, the chairman of the Macomb County Republican Party in Michigan threatened to use lists of persons whose homes have been foreclosed to challenge those persons at the polls. The chairman denies having made the statement, but the matter is now before the federal district court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
The McCain-Palin campaign released an ad that accuses ACORN of “bullying banks, intimidation tactics” and “disruption of business.” It says ACORN stands accused of “massive voter fraud” and says that “Obama’s ties to ACORN run long and deep. He taught classes for ACORN. They even endorsed him for President.”
ACORN responded by explaining that they are required by law to submit to secretary of state and/or election commissions every registration they receive but anytime their quality control staff