While John McCain supporters attempt to draw connections between Barack Obama and ACORN in the wake of the thousands of bogus voter registrations submitted by the organization, California Republicans have failed to remind the media that just two years ago a group the San Bernadino GOP hired to register voters was also investigated for fraud.
From the March 7th, 2006 Los Angeles Times:
County voting officials said they found problems with many of the nearly 3,000 registration forms submitted by the company, including 1,800 that lacked voters’ driver’s license numbers or other official forms of identification, which were required by a state law this year.
The district attorney’s office is also investigating whether the same political firm, John Burkett Petition Management of Riverside, was responsible for the large number of signatures declared invalid in a recent petition drive in Rialto, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Frank Vanella.
The firm was being paid up to $6 for each voter who they could register as a Republican.
There doesn’t appear to be any evidence, by employees at ACORN today or at Petition Management in 2006, of any political agenda – just greed or laziness on the part of temporary field workers, likely under a quota or paid in part by the number of registrations they submitted.
Steven Rosenfield at Alternet attempts to put the more recent fraudulent voter registrations submitted by ACORN into perspective:
ACORN has not said how many bad registrations were flagged in 2008, but one nationwide estimate was 10,000. What is ACORN’s error rate then? It would be less than one percent. Yes, in one Indiana County a third or more of its submissions were bad. In 2006, contractors for the California Republican Party had local error rates of 60 percent in San Bernadino County, the Los Angeles Times reported, where 1,800 out of 3,000 submitted registrations were incomplete and could not be processed.
Of course, the John McCain campaign knows this, as does Barack Obama’s. Unfortunately, there is little time to fully explain how these irregularities happen, especially in the last few days of election season.
Sidenote: I can’t tell if johnburkett.com, supposedly the website for John Burkett Petition Management, has been hacked or is a complete spoof. The About Us page begins:
John Burkett Petition Management has been providing questionable quality petitioning since our founding. It is our mission to avoid legal trouble as much as possible when gathering signatures from our circulators/coordinators. We believe the best way to achieve this goal is to deny,deny,deny.