Indianapolis Voter Registration at 105%
People in Indianapolis are fired up to vote, with early voting taking place at record levels.
Voter registration is at record levels and new registrations are coming at a torrid pace. Indeed, Paul Ogden does the math and figures that voter registration in Indianapolis and Marion County has exceeded 105 percent of the over-eighteen population, which is quite a feat!
There’s a bit of hubbub about this in the blogosphere. Warner Todd Huston thinks the dreaded MSM is missing the story and wonders whether “ACORN, Barack Obama’s favorite fraud immersed ‘community organizer'” is behind it. Moe Lane, The Anchoress, Michelle Malkin, Rob Port, and others concur.
Of course, there are perfectly likely non-fraudulent reasons that could be. The 2007 census baseline numbers Ogden’s relying on could understate the current population. The voter rolls likely include large numbers of people who have died or moved but will in fact not vote.
Ken Dixon, reporting for the Connecticut Post, notes that there are indeed several ACORN-related “phony registrations” in that state, including the registration of a “7-year-old girl in the Marina Village housing complex, whose age was listed as 27 on the voter card.” Malkin points to other reports in Missouri, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana from credible sources.
In all cases but the last, the numbers are negligible: a handful of obviously fraudulent registrations out of thousands generated from ACORN drives. In Indiana, ACORN turned in 2000 registrations in Lake County, with 1100 of them “no good.”
Elections board Director Sally LaSota “said the flawed forms are incomplete or contain unreadable handwriting — similar to hundreds of other forms ACORN produced prior to this week. She said some ACORN vote canvassers apparently pulled names and addresses from telephone books and forged signatures.”
ACORN says such practices go against their policies and that they have fired those involved. Color me skeptical. Still, it’s unclear to me what the upshot of getting away with fraudulent registrations is. Are we going to have significant number of phantom votes cast, presumably by absentee ballot? There doesn’t seem to be much history of that sort of thing.
And they’re going to REALLY have to kick it into overdrive in Indiana, which Bush won by 15.7 and 20.7 percent in 2000 and 2004, respectively. Then again, McCain’s only got a slight lead in current polls.
UPDATE: A regular commenter emails to note that “[A] lot of groups — including campaigns — reward workers for new registrations. There is clearly a problem in the voter registration process. BUT… that is NOT the same thing as voter fraud. There are virtually no cases of actually voter fraud — or at least no evidence of it. And it isn’t as if people have not looked for it.”
I think that’s right. There are incentives for shady practices in both voter registration and the culling of voters from the rolls. I don’t know what the evidence is, though, for significant fraudulent voting in modern American elections.