Saturday, October 18, 2008


So, all the while the Republicans have been going on and on about some registration irregularities with a few over zealous ACORN community organizers in the registration of ficticious names into the voting pool, they have been playing their own dirty tricks as well. Only, theirs is much more destructive. The ACORN registration of the deceased and fictional names can't effect the voting tallies, as they obviously cannot vote. But as for the Republican dirty tricks, well that's another story entirely, at least come next primary season.
It seems that dozens of newly minted Republican voters say they were duped into joining the party by a GOP-hired contractor with a trail of fraud complaints stretching across the country. Voters contacted by The Times said they were tricked into switching parties while signing what they believed were petitions for tougher penalties against child molesters. Some said they were told that they had to become Republicans to sign the petition, contrary to California initiative law. Others had no idea their registration was being changed.
It is a bait-and-switch scheme familiar to elections experts. The firm hired by the California Republican Party -- a small company called Young Political Majors, or YPM, which operates in several states -- has been accused of using the tactic across the country. Elections officials and lawmakers have launched investigations into the activities of YPM staff in Florida and Massachusetts. In Arizona, the firm was recently a defendant in a civil rights lawsuit. Prosecutors in Los Angeles and Ventura counties say they are investigating complaints about the company.The firm, which a Republican Party spokesman said is paid $7 to $12 for each registration it secures, has denied any wrongdoing and says it has never been charged with a crime. The 70,000 voters YPM has registered for the Republican Party will help combat the public perception that it is struggling amid Democratic gains nationally, give a boost to fundraising efforts and bolster member support for party leaders, political strategists from both parties say. Those who were formerly Democrats will stop receiving phone calls and literature from that party, perhaps affecting its get-out-the-vote efforts. Those voters also will be given only a Republican ballot in the next primary election if they do not switch their registration back before then.
It all sounds familiar to Beverly Hill, a Democrat and the former elections supervisor in Florida's Alachua County. About 200 voters -- mostly college students -- were unwittingly registered as Republicans there in 2004 by YPM staffers using the same tactic, Hill said. "It is just incredible that this can keep happening election after election," she said. YES, INCREDIBLE.

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