The Note: Literally in Denial

And call Lou Dobbs — part of this issue is outsourcing, according to elections officials! "To a large degree, election officials said, the bad registrations can be attributed to the parties' decision to outsource voter registration operations to private companies and nonprofit groups that pay temporary employees for every new voter they sign up. In essence, they said, the problem is not fraud for partisan gain but greed."

There are some allegations from former employees of Sproul and Associates adjuncts about voter registration destruction and fraud … and now there are allegations from a former (allegedly disgruntled) ACORN employee about the same.

Both entities have repeatedly denied wrongdoing to us, but very senior Democrats and Republicans admit that they're embarrassed by these allegations (the Republicans more so than Democrats, since they are directly affiliated with one of the groups in question). LINK

"Voters are responsible for proving who they are and knowing where they are supposed to vote. There will be charges that both rulings permit "intimidation," which in today's liberal lexicon is a synonym for linking rights to responsibilities," writes George Will. LINK

Brian C. Mooney of the Boston Globe looks at a potential X factor: Election Day registrants. "These are voters the campaigns for the most part do not even know exist, let alone how they will vote." LINK

The AP reports "Sagging performance and mounting legal costs in its electronic voting segment kept third-quarter earnings nearly flat at Diebold Inc., the company said Wednesday." LINK

The man who will replace Theresa LePore as supervisor of elections in Palm Beach County requested an absentee ballot a while ago but hasn't gotten it yet. LINK

Note to Democrats: do NOT underestimate how many Republican lawyers and volunteers and activists will be out in force on Election Day …

ABC News Vote 2004: casting and counting: watchdog:

Several questions we get asked a lot, so here's our brief answers:

1. Yes, it is illegal to vote twice. Hopefully, your election administrator will discover attempts to vote twice, but no, there is not a national database of voters.

2. No, your state does not have to have a single, statewide voter database this election year. Most will have them by 2006, and a few have them today.

3. Yes, that weird-looking Michigan absentee ballot with misaligned arrows has been dealt with; voters have been contacted and sent new ones.

4. No, we don't know for sure what Ohio's provisional ballot situation will be. We'll let you know.

5. We're not sure whether the resolution to this election will be postponed. Believe it or not, both candidates have a political imperative to get to the business of a transition (to a second term or to a first) as quickly and cleanly and legitimately as possible.

6. Broward County voters wonder: where is my absentee ballot? The Supervisor of Elections says they're sending them out as fast as they can, but they were inundated with requests. We say: it's getting late in the game, folks … LINK

If you haven't gotten your absentee ballot by next Monday (and you requested one a while ago), let us know: politicalunit@abcnews.com

Thanks again to all those who've sent in thoughtful questions.

Please keep them coming. We'll respond individually, if we know the answer or can help immediately. Send your e-mails to politicalunit@abcnews.com

Be sure to include "Watchdog" in the subject line.

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