Monday, September 22, 2008

Is ACORN playing into the Polling Data?

During elections, you have polls that are published. It seems simple.

If you were to ask the voter why polls are published, you would probably get a variety of answers from; it is a snapshot of how voters feel, to the media is trying to influence an election.

Arguably there is a perception of truth in polls that are published for the purpose of gauging voter's attitudes. The question should be asked, how accurate are the polls or more importantly how accurate are the polls to the reality of the dynamics of the political landscape?

Because when it comes time for the final tally of the votes, two things will happen. One, if the pollsters are wrong, they lose credibility. And two, in this election where race is fanning the flames of an emotional election on one side, polls can be pointed to by the losing party as proof that the election was stolen from them.

So it is from this point; the credibility of polling data must be examined.

Accuracy is a Funny Thing

When we look to the pollsters for accuracy, there is a presumption among the average voters, that polling data is accurate and is not biased. Pollsters such as Rasmussen have a track record of being right sometimes and wrong other times.

During the Democrat primary, pollsters like Rasmussen were wrong on Indiana. They had Obama wining Indiana through the primaries of other states. Then something happened when it came time for the voters to vote in Indiana, Obama lost. In the Republican primary the pollsters had McCain winning in Michigan until the eleventh hour. In the end Romney won.

Now that the national election is set and the race is between the Republican Party and the Democrat Party, pollsters like Rasmussen have made their adjustments to the data and are continually making adjustments.

The adjustments that the pollsters are making, are on the percentages of the party affiliation sampled. Taking Rasmussen's comments, he has admitted that he is polling a higher percentage of Democrats and has increased the percentage of Democrat voters as of late.

Rasmussen rationalizes the adjustment on what he terms the partisan trends. The adjustments are based on 15,000 voters and it is this methodology of polling based on partisan trends that are questioned along with the accuracy of the polls that use this methodology.
And because pollsters like Rasmussen are using this partisan trend that favors Democrat registrations, ACORN's involvement in the registration of Democrats must be examined.

ACORN's Role in Democrat Registration

According to Wikipedia, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) became involved in lobbying Congress for the passage of the Motor Voter Act that President Clinton signed and became law in 1994.

ACORN then pursued new registration laws in Arkansas and Massachusetts and filed suit in Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania as a result of the act.

What has resulted from the Motor Voter Act can best be summed up by the testimony of John Samples, PhD Director, Center for Representative Government The Cato Institute.
Since last fall, "Operation Big Vote" has been active in the St. Louis area as part of a national campaign -- promoted by Democrats -- to register more African-American voters and get them to the polling booth. This effort delivered 3,800 voter registration cards to the St. Louis Elections Board on the February 7, 2001, the deadline for the March mayoral primary in that city.

A cursory check of the registration cards turned up questionable names. Shortly thereafter, election board workers spent an entire day calling the names listed on the cards and found that nearly all of them were fraudulent. Many of them sought to register prominent people, dead or alive - as well as at least three deceased aldermen and a dog.
The media have reported that close examinations have turned up cards that attempted to register prominent businessmen using their childhood addresses, a former deputy mayor using an old address for an alderman, and a former alderman who has been dead for years. They also found cards for convicted felons and for residents who did not seek to register themselves in the primary. The woman at the center of this vote fraud investigation "doesn't deny" that some of her canvassers may have turned in bogus voter registration cards.
A grand jury convened by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce has begun interviewing witnesses regarding the 3,800 bogus registration cards. St. Louis police have obtained a warrant and searched the house of the Operation Big Vote director for evidence.

Not surprisingly, many St. Louis residents are angry that someone had registered them and knew information such as their Social Security numbers. Some of the people registered by the bogus cards told Election Board workers that someone calling himself "Big Mike" came to their homes and said he was with the Election Board and wanted to register them.

This is not the first time Operation Big Vote has been at the center of a voter registration controversy. In 1994, the director of Operation Big Vote was the subject of a similar investigation into fraudulent voter registration cards found among the 14,000 that the group had collected to aid a statewide campaign to allow riverboat casinos. No one was indicted.

There have been serious problems with the Motor Voter Act, ACORN and fraud. Going back to 2004 in Ohio, according to Wikipedia:

Four ACORN employees were indicted by a federal grand jury for submitting false voter registration forms. On November 1, 2006, four part time ACORN employees were indicted in Kansas City, Missouri for voter registration fraud. In 2007, five Washington state ACORN workers were sentenced to jail time. ACORN agreed to pay King County $25 000 for its investigative costs and acknowledged that the national organization could be subject to criminal prosecution if fraud occurs again. In 2008, the Michigan Secretary of State office told the Detroit Free Press that ACORN had been submitting a sizeable number of duplicate and fraudulent applications to vote. On September 17 2008, the Bernalillo County clerk in New Mexico notified prosecutors that the office had received fraudulent registration cards

In searching the impact ACORN had on registrations, I came across this article from the New Mexico Independent. The title speaks for itself: ACORN hits registration record but it wonders what could have been?

Keep in mind that this article was published on August 29th, 2008, approximately two weeks before the Bernalillo County clerk notified prosecutors in New Mexico that the office received fraudulent registration cards.

What were the numbers of registered voters that ACORN processed in New Mexico for 2008?

New Mexico’s ACORN voter registration drive has netted more than 65,000 new voter applications already this year, and its field director wonders how many more they could have registered had it been supplied with more official state applications.

Since fraudulent registrations had been found in Bernalillo County, how many voters did ACORN register there?

According to the article, there were 10,000 new voters registered and the county ran out of applications. Now given the history of ACORN and the voter fraud, one would have to question the methodology of pollsters like Rasmussen who use partisan trends to poll more Democrats than Republicans since it seems that a campaign of fraud has been committed by ACORN for years.

Interestingly, in the article written by the New Mexico Independent, the Republican Party of New Mexico put out statements to prospective GOP voters, not to register with ACORN. Reasons given ranged from 90 completed voter-registration applications were stolen from ACORN’s Las Cruces office, to complaints about misleading voter-registration activities.

In looking at the latest poll from Rasmussen on New Mexico, it is found that McCain was leading Barack Obama 49% to 47%.

Given that the partisan trend favors the Democrats at the time of this polling, one would question the accuracy of Rasmussen numbers.

In Michigan, as reported in the Detroit Free Press, ACORN's branch in Michigan, registered more than 200,000 voters and according to Kelly Chesney, spokeswoman for the Michigan Secretary of State's Office, there appears to be a "sizable number of duplicate and fraudulent applications."

The numbers from Rasmussen on Michigan are Obama 51% McCain 44%. And again, given the partisan trend that Rasmussen uses, one would question the accuracy of the polling data.

Do a google search on ACORN and fraud and see what comes up. You will be surprised on how many states are listed.

When looking at just two states, it is evident that duplicate voter registration and fraudulent registrations and the size of the registrations are huge to where it could play in poll results.

It is important for voters to keep that in mind when looking at the polls.

Let the Race Games Begin

Given the fact that ACORN has commited fraud in key battleground states and ACORN has mainly registered Democrats. The Democrats have come out in protest on the actions taken by the Department of Justice in investigating fraud.

It is well known that Rep. John Conyers from Detroit, Michigan has come up with some bogus accusation that the Department of Justice was not justified in firing U.S. attorneys. In hearings Conyers stated:

"I'm troubled by the department's over emphasis on pursuing voter fraud cases which were the basis of a number of the firings of U.S. Attorneys in what is now widely regarded as the politicization of the Department of Justice itself," he said. "We're pursuing these so-called voter fraud cases to the exclusion of voter suppression cases." (House Judiciary Hearing February 26, 2008).

Conyers cited DOJ records showing only a few cases have led to convictions and putting emphasis on dubious evidence that voter suppression had taken place. Moreover it is no secret that ACORN lobbied Conyers to pass the voter participation legislation (H.R. 2305) that enabled voter fraud registration to take place in ACORN .

Now with the new revelation on ACORN and the extensive voter fraud, what does Rep. Conyers have to say? Conyers Calls out McCain over Voter Suppression

Not too far off in the distance, you will soon start hearing allegations of suppressing minorities and their right to vote and that will fan the flames of racism.

From this, the question in the end will be, were the polls wrong and was the election stolen from the minority vote. Arguably, pollsters unwittingly or knowingly will be contributing to the allegations.

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