The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

November 3, 2008
Unique perspective on ACORN and vote suppression

Julian Bond, currently chairman of the NAACP and the first African-American to be nominated by a major party as a candidate for vice president, has a long history with voting rights.

He dismisses the recent attack on ACORN for its voter registration efforts and supposed vote fraud as an "enormous myth."  Here's why:

"Well, of course ACORN doesn't register anybody; the election officials register people.  If I go through this crowd and pick up forms, I haven't registered anybody here.  It's not until that form gets in the hands of the registration officials that it's registered.  And if they can't tell the difference between Mickey Mouse and John Smith, then you need new election officials."

He explained that what happens is that folks go into a neighborhood to register people and collect voter registration forms.  They see that Mickey Mouse has signed a form.  But the law requires that they turn the form in.  They can't just throw it away.  But ACORN does flag the form for registration officials.  For that, they get accused of turning in fraudulent forms.

 You can hear Bond's full remarks on Minnesota Public Radio.  He was speaking on the topic, "Reflections on the Lessons of 1968" at the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy & Civic Engagement at the College of St. Benedict/St. John's University in Minnesota. At the end of the talk he took questions and was asked to comment on "vote suppression in its current form." That section begins 39 minutes into the audio and goes for nearly four minutes.

Bond noted that vote suppression used to be the province of Democrats, but is now almost exclusively the province of Republicans. 

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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