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.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Dave Schuler says:

    The voter rolls likely include large numbers of people who have died or moved but will in fact not vote.

    If it were Chicago the voter rolls would likely include large numbers of people who have died or moved but will in fact vote. I think it was Tip O’Neill who said that when he died he wanted to be buried in Chicago so he could stay active in politics.

  2. anjin-san says:

    There doesn’t seem to be much history of that sort of thing.

    I don’t know what the evidence is, though, for significant fraudulent voting in modern American elections.

    No doubt Fox will, once again, find lots of video of black voters to accompany this non-story.

  3. Bithead says:

    No, Anjin, not blacks particularly.
    Just Democrats.

    Let’s see…
    Indy.
    Philly, where registrations have been running at 125% the last few cycles, and so on and so on.
    Has anyone noticed that the real hotspots for vote fraud invariably end up in districts run by democrats?

  4. anjin-san says:

    Ya know bit, even your whining is half-hearted these days…

  5. SeeingIsBelieving says:

    Don’t worry. When Obama wins in a landslide this November, it won’t matter that Indiana went for McCain by only a small percentage. What will be interesting is how the will try to play off huge losses in Virginia and Florida. The SCOTUS or a brother governor can’t help McBush this time around.

  6. There are virtually no cases of actually voter fraud — or at least no evidence of it.

    The Big Lie. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

    Here’s a conviction from 2005. Go ahead and follow all the links in that post and tell me again how there is no evidence for sytematic voter fraud in this country.

    Here’s some testimony from 2001 before the US Senate about the Motor Voter Act and fraud in Missouri.

    Here’s DOJ’s complaint about Missouri under the National Voter Registration Act.

    Here’s Senator Kit Bond’s statement documenting a dog voting in St. Louis.

    And that’s just a handful of sources from Missouri, and East St. Louis.

  7. Davebo says:

    I don’t know what the evidence is, though, for significant fraudulent voting in modern American elections.

    Sure there is. Just not the type of fraud you are referring to.

  8. Bithead says:

    Ya know bit, even your whining is half-hearted these days…

    Mostly because moral arguments demonstrably don’t work on the shamelessly immoral people the left has proven to be the last several cycles.

  9. Oh, and even one fraudlent vote is significant.

  10. Fraudulent ones too.

  11. John, OH says:

    I find it hard to believe you’re blaming the Democrats for the majority of voter fraud when you look at Florida in Bush’s re-election. What was the name of that district where Bush won 700% of the vote?

  12. Spoker says:

    Patience folks. This will become a significant media issue on Jan. 26th.

  13. Michael says:

    What was the name of that district where Bush won 700% of the vote?

    Did you hear about this actually happening somewhere, or are you just totally making shit up?

  14. markm says:

    “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.”

    Dunno…from the Nevada ACORN office raid yesterday they found paperwork where some lady that didn’t exist was registered to vote 13 times. Are you saying that those 13 registrations wouldn’t equate to 13 votes???. I don’t know that they would but ACORN seems to lean a wee bit to one side of center. I’m sure if they could help their candidate they would, no?.

  15. anjin-san says:

    Mostly because moral arguments demonstrably don’t work on the shamelessly immoral people the left has proven to be

    Compelling stuff indeed Bit. You are moral. People who disagree with you are not. Because you say so.

    Why not use your moral clarity to address my question to you about Mr. Begin two threads up?

  16. Bithead says:

    I just did.
    Like I said.. shameless.

  17. Tom B. says:

    105%?????

    85% would be astoundingly high based on the number of people who actually vote, even given an uncounted influx of citizens. This number stinks to high heaven. We require ID to present a check, why on earth can’t we require it for voting?

  18. Jay says:

    I assure you that 5% fraud is enough to swing this election. Your conclusion that a 5% swing by a partisan canvasing project is not intentional is not good journalism, or common sense. This is not a non story, and it will blow up in the face of the organizers.

  19. Chime says:

    In Indiana we do require a picture ID issued by a state or federal entity, and first time voters are required to show proof of residency that matches the address on the voter registration list.

  20. anjin-san says:

    Hey bit you said it would take a week for the post-Palin debate numbers to be meaningful. How is that working out?

  21. Louie says:

    Take some of these cops sitting on their butts going after speeders and get them to infiltrate into groups like ACORN and catch these people in the act. Minimum 1 year in jail and $1,000 fine for EACH count of fraud. Then go after the politicians themselves. How you can become a senator/congressman and after 4 years be a multimillionaire… Hmm. I say they don’t get paid anything more than a teacher or a police officer. Get the money out of it and then MAYBE the right people will run for office and will work FOR the people. It’s time to clean House; all of them.