Voting Problems Persist as Election Nears

ACORN ad nauseam, troubling typos in registration rolls and voters potentially turned away for want of a checked box. The pressure for a punctilious combing of voting records continues, yet through it all, the voters persevere. From North Carolina to Illinois to Nevada, an astounding number of Americans have been breaking records by turning out early to vote. Here's the latest:

ACORN: Yet Another Press Conference? The FBI has picked up the scent of suspicious registrations from this embattled get-out-the vote group but is apparently proceeding with less than full-throttle enthusiasm. ACORN said federal agents have not contacted it, and the bureau is looking into reports of bogus registration cards in states like Nevada rather than investigating ACORN itself.

One factor constraining the FBI may be a reluctance to get involved right before the election in the high-profile -- and deeply partisan -- controversy over ACORN's efforts to sign up voters. And this can't help: The New York Times reports that so many agents are investigating terrorism, there aren't enough to probe any wrongdoing behind the financial crisis. Think ACORN's high on the list of priorities?

Still, the Republicans press their case. On Friday in Pennsylvania, the party sued ACORN to force it to give election officials lists of everyone it registered in the state and to pay for ads reminding voters that they need ID at the polls. The lawsuit also asked the secretary of state to make sure polling places have enough provisional ballots for voters whose registrations can't be processed by Election Day.

For the record, Acorn acknowledges that some of its workers have submitted bogus registration forms, but it says it catches and flags most of them for voting officials. And they represent only a small fraction of some 1.3 million new voters the group says it has registered this election year.

ACORN argued that it is the real victim here, facing not only crooked employees but violence and threats as well. Last week, vandals attacked the group's Seattle and Boston offices, and an ACORN employee in Cleveland said she'd received death threats. This time, it's ACORN that's calling in the FBI. The group scheduled yet another conference call today to discuss the development.

No Match, No Vote I. When one courthouse door closes, another opens: Late Friday, Ohio fundraising consultant David Myhal kept alive the GOP's voter-registration battle with state Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, by filing in Ohio Supreme Court a suit akin to one the Republicans lost just hours before in the U.S. Supreme Court.

The GOP and Myhal said Brunner is required to fight fraud by giving local officials a list of some 200,000 new voters who filled in voter registration cards with driver's license or Social Security numbers that don't match a state database. Brunner refused, arguing that the mismatch list is meant to be used for updating the database, not for disqualifying voters. Besides, the mismatches almost always result from typos and the like, not fraud. Why risk bumping 200,000 new registrants from the rolls, just because of typos?

But Republicans weren't appeased, and they navigated several levels of lower courts before the Supreme Court shut them down Friday. The justices didn't say the GOP was wrong, just that the law probably doesn't allow private citizens to enforce it. End of story for the GOP.

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