New Orleans The popular Politico blog by Ben Smith on October 15th drew the obvious conclusion last week about the report that voter registration numbers are significantly down, especially in lower income districts, that allowing the right to take ACORN out of the equation and chilling virtually all large scale registration efforts will be a huge favor in the midterm elections.
The Washington Independent’s Jesse Zwick reports:
After more than a decade of success expanding voter rolls, voting rights advocates are noting a disturbing trend in the run-up to the 2010 elections. Dramatically fewer groups are engaged in registering voters during the current election cycle than in previous midterm elections, and fewer voters, especially in poorer areas that are traditionally underrepresented and therefore the usual target of voter registration drives, are registering to vote as a result.
Registration patterns vary significantly from state to state, but 26.7 percent fewer new voters have registered in
Portland A meeting is on the horizon this week with the Toronto elections commissioner and ACORN Canada to discuss how to meet ACORN’s demand that more voting stations be provided for city elections in the numerous high rise apartment buildings throughout the working districts of the city. ACORN Canada in its “Tenants Vote” campaign had demanded polling places be established in any complex with more than 100 units. ACORN Kenya has been at work for months to make sure that our members in the Korogocho slums are educated and ready to participate in the critical election determining the new constitution.
On the web the news out of Nevada indicates that a Project Vote and ACORN voter registration worker is due for trial after Thanksgiving. The AG in Pennsylvania is scrapping around the cases of another couple of workers. For all the sound and fury two years ago about ACORN and its voter registration efforts among the poor and disenfranchised, these two efforts seem to be all that remains of a forest of press coverage back then, and both are mighty thin soup.
All of these ironies come in focus for me as I realize that even as ACORN Canada and ACORN Kenya work to expand voting access and participation in that country, the fire has been snuffed out in the United States. Two years on as some observers look at the impending election and the absence of huge, large scale registration efforts like those mounted by ACORN; some understand that the loss is huge to democracy when such forces are removed from the battle.
A recent piece by Tonyaa Weathersbee, regular columnist and member of the editorial board of the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville that was published in the Louisiana Weekly called “We’ll Soon Wish We Still Had ACORN,” is worth noting:
”Call it a piece of democracy done in by deception.