I wanted to get the straight facts about the North Carolina Acorn voter registration story, so I interviewed one of the North Carolina County Election Directors who reported some of the bad ACORN forms.
Acorn submitted about 28,000 registration forms in North Carolina. Contrast that with nearly 700,000 new registrations in the state. Readers, please remember, we have bi-partisan members on every County backing up our Election Directors as watchdogs. They are looking out for you. In the news article NC election officials investigate voter forms , few forms were considered suspect; there were about 120 for Durham County and about 30 from Wake County. These are the only counties that complaints have been reported in. "Durham elections director Mike Ashe said ACORN helped the county develop a system to trace problems."
Yesterday, I called up Mike Ashe, Director of Elections in Durham County, who reported some of the fraudulent registration forms that were submitted by ACORN. I felt that Mr. Ashe would be the best source of information on this issue, given that he had first hand experience.
I have paraphrased the first part of Mike's answers to my questions, (hence no quote marks) in order to make the answers less conversational and clearer to those who aren't versed on voter registration issues. The last half are direct quotes.
Question to Mike Ashe: What happens when you get ACORN forms?
We have several processes to screen them. Forms must be complete in order to process them. Voters must supply their birth date, a drivers license number or the last 4 digits of their social security number. Voters must sign the forms.
We run matches of the applicant's last 4 digits of their social security number or their drivers license number against corresponding govt databases. Any form that doesn't get a match, is coded must show ID the first time they vote. If the form does not provide these numbers, then the registration is flagged and the voter must provide ID the first time they vote.
Answer: (Direct Quote) "The ACORN issue was not ever voter fraud, but voter registration fraud trying to steal money from ACORN. Trying to get their quota. Lots of bogus to defraud their employer.
Durham got several applications for the same guy. The county doesn't turn in dozens of apps for the same guy. ACORN is required by law to turn in all apps. They (ACORN) flag the ones that they think are suspicious, they provide a cover sheet.
(We election officials) Have ability to reject , we are required to process all the forms, some go directly into the reject queue because of missing info, alot of them are very obvious. Many took pages out of the phone book. Alot don't have the date of birth, missing alot of required information."
Commentary: I hope that knowledge of the screening process provides some reassurance to you. I feel that we would hear more about this from election officials or their Board of Elections members, the members being appointed by the political parties themselves, if we didn't have the needed controls to prevent actual voter fraud.
Remember, your County's Director of Elections is a non partisan employee of the County. In addition, both political parties have a representative on each County's Board of Elections. These Board of Elections members are appointed by the county's political party Chairmen. These members sit in on canvassing meetings and policy meetings on a regular basis. They would see and hear about any questionable voter registration forms.
To find out who your County's BoE members are, you can go to your County Board of Elections website , visit this link