Registration Down, Lower Income Votes Out

ACORN Advocates and Actions Citizen Wealth Financial Justice Voting Rights

Phoenix Registration Down, Lower Income Votes Out
Phoenix Registration Down, Lower Income Votes Out

Phoenix We did the first direct action with Arizona Advocates & Actions yesterday as 20 Bank of America mortgage holders demanded that their modifications finally be fast tracked at the BofA Service Center in Phoenix yesterday.  That’s the good news!

The rest sucks, as we look around the country heading into the midterm elections.

A front page New York Times poll notes amazingly that lower income voters, families making less than $50,000 per year in an unheard of expression of alienation from the party in power, which happens to be the Democrats, has now moved to leaning towards the Republicans by a 5% positive from what was a 25% positive to the Democrats only 2 years ago.  Yes, it is the “economy stupid” in

James Carville’s inimitable words, and the Obama Administration’s continued footsie with Wall Street, inability to move the needle on jobs, and mishandling of everything with foreclosures has pushed lower income working families to desperation and abandonment of the Democrats.  The White House cynics will say, “well, they don’t vote that much anyway,” but low-and-moderate income votes, had there been a real GOTV effort, could also have made the difference in many close contests.

The day before, Ian Urbina, in a Times article seems at this late date (by a decade at least) realized that in the run-up to elections the Republicans always play the “voter fraud card” to dampen down the voting strength of newly registered and infrequent voters.  Even without ACORN, and surprisingly ACORN still is a robust target for the right even in Halloween ghost costumes since it’s dead a doornail, there is a desperate claim of fraud in the land.   Read this tragic couple of paragraphs about “democracy lost:”

“Even so, the fear of stolen votes remains, as does the fear of missing votes – particularly in light of a decrease, compared with 2006, in voter registration applications in swing states.

About 43 percent fewer new voters have registered in Wisconsin this year than in 2006, while in Indiana, the decrease has been about 35 percent.  Significant drops have also been seen in Ohio (25 percent), North Carolina (28 percent), Florida (27 percent), and Maryland (21 percent), according to state election data collected by the Brennan Center.

Voting experts say several factors explain the trend.

Voter enthusiasm is low now, and fewer groups like the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, are engaged in drives to sign people up.  ACORN collected about 550,000 voter-registration applications across the country in 2006, mostly from low-income and minority Americans, and 1.3 million in 2008.

But in March, the organization closed down…”

Needless to say the states listed by Urbina were also states where ACORN had been actively engaged in registration.  He also cites the foreclosure crises and the fact that many states have suppressed registration with new laws making it more difficult, have also hammered the numbers.   The economy and voter suppression will retard low-and-moderate income voting, but who would have guessed that this would have been news to the President and the White House.

Next time something like ACORN is allowed to be thrown under the bus by its friends and allies from the President on down, it probably makes sense for someone on the street corner to tell ‘em to get out of the street themselves, since they will inevitably get run over as well.