Turns out that ACORN is not the only group under suspicion of fooling around with voter registrations. The difference here is that these are already registered voters. Yikes!
Under the auspices of having California-registered voters sign a petition for tougher penalties against child molesters, registered Democrats had their party affiliation changed without their knowledge or were told they had to switch parties to sign the petition by a group called YPM (Young Political Majors), who were working for the California Republican Party.
In a case of voter bait-and-switch scheme known to election experts, YPM has been accused of using the tactic across the country.
According to the LA Times, "Election officials and lawmakers have launched investigations into the activities of YPM workers in Florida and Massachusetts. In Arizona, the firm was recently a defendant in a civil rights lawsuit. Prosecutors in Los Angeles and Ventura counties say they are investigating complaints about the company."
While it is true that voters can still vote for whomever they want in the presidential race, those who were formerly Democrats may not receive phone calls and literature from that party, and may be left out of get-out-the-vote efforts. Also, they will only get a Republican ballot in the next primary election if they do not switch their registration back before then.
According to the times,
"Some also report having their registration status changed to absentee without their permission; if they show up at the polls without a ballot they may be unable to vote.
The Times randomly interviewed 46 of the hundreds of voters whose election records show they were recently re-registered as Republicans by YPM, and 37 of them - more than 80% - said that they were misled into making the change or that it was done without their knowledge.
It all sounds familiar to Beverly Hill, a Democrat and the former election supervisor in Florida's Alachua County. About 200 voters -- mostly college students -- were unwittingly registered as Republicans there in 2004 by YPM staffers using the same tactic, Hill said.
"It is just incredible that this can keep happening election after election," she said."
Update: Another story a little closer to home for the McCain campaign from Huffington Post via Truthout.
And if you haven't already crawled into a hole and wished the election were over by now, here's this little joykill from Mother Jones.
Playing With Matches
Four states—Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, and South Dakota—only let residents register if their Social Security or driver's license numbers can be matched with entries in a state database. If you register as "Bill" but the database says "William," or if a data-entry clerk sticks a typo in your name or birth date, tough luck.
sleaze meter: 3 Incompetence may be bipartisan, but critics argue that there will be more typos in the names of Hispanics, immigrants, and black women.