When an incumbent’s prospect of reelection looks shaky, his temptation to take advantage of holes in the security of our election process is the greatest — especially if he believes he can engage in fraud without being detected. Should we be worried over President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign given his prior connections to Project Vote?
Project Vote is an affiliate of ACORN, one of the most corrupt advocacy organizations in recent memory. Its employees have been convicted in case after case of voter registration fraud. They have submitted tens of thousands of fraudulent forms, often on the eve of elections, causing chaos and confusion for local election officials in states ranging from Florida to Indiana to Nevada. Project Vote had to admit in 2008 that its claim of 1.3 million newly registered voters was wrong: at least 400,000 were rejected by election officials because they were incomplete or fraudulent.
Some former employees-turned-whistleblowers claim that flooding election officials with an overwhelming number of new, faulty registration forms was planned conduct, intended to cause turmoil and to make it easier to convince election officials to accept questionable registrations and questionable voters on election day.
As Matthew Vadum outlined in his recent book Subversion Inc., ACORN and Project Vote are interchangeable: “Their staffs overlap, they share office space, and they share money. Employees migrate between the two legally separate organizations constantly.” The board of Project Vote was made up entirely of ACORN staffers and members.
In fact, even the New York Times reported that, based on its own interviews and an internal report conducted by ACORN’s lawyer Elizabeth Kingsley, the close ties between the two organizations “made it impossible to document that Project Voter’s money had been used in a strictly nonpartisan manner.”
The former executive director of Project Vote, Zach Polett (who served at the same time as ACORN’s political director), dismissed public concerns about voter fraud. He said such “efforts to curb so-called ‘voter fraud’ are in reality attempts to disenfranchise and silence our least powerful citizens.” As Matthew Vadum writes, Polett channels the grand liberal architects of radical revolution, Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven. They openly stated what many silently believe, that all “efforts to ensure electoral integrity and the rule of law are illegitimate and aimed at bolstering the oppressive capitalist system.” Cloward once said: “It’s better to have a little bit of fraud than to leave people off the rolls who belong there.”
It should be no surprise that Project Vote added Piven to its board of directors last year.
Despite the corrupt and fraudulent activities of ACORN and Project Vote, President Obama has already dubbed the voter registration part of his 2012 campaign as … “Project Vote.” This is not surprising, given his history with Project Vote.
As an alert reader of PJ Media discovered, former state Senator Barack Obama made a great deal of his relationship with Project Vote when he was running for Congress. He ran a one-minute radio ad about utility blackouts in which he bragged about having “headed up Project Vote, registering over 100,000 minority voters.” He ran a second radio ad about his taking on the health insurance industry where he again boasted of “working as a community organizer” and turning down high-paying corporate jobs after law school “to become a civil rights lawyer” and to “head up” Project Vote.
Obama was in on the ground floor when Project Vote was organized, and was proud of it in 2004. Project Vote certainly returned the favor: all of the evidence indicates that Project Vote did everything it could to get Barack Obama elected in 2008, abusing its supposed nonprofit, nonpartisan status.
The testimony of former employees like Anita MonCrief also reveals that ACORN and Project Vote’s misfeasance is a longstanding problem. A question that has never been answered is how much Obama knew about (and was involved in) Project Vote’s misdeeds and internal policies when, as his ads claim, “he headed up” the organization.
Project Vote’s long history of lawlessness does not seem to have embarrassed the president, given he is using the same name for his election campaign’s voter registration project. The real question is whether Project Vote will get away with the same kind of abuses in the 2012 election, and whether the president’s campaign will be a willing partner.