Dozens of newly minted Republican voters say they were duped into joining the party by a GOP 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 election 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.
Election officials and lawmakers have launched investigations into the activities of YPM workers 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.
I'm sure my "Anonymous" commenter from last week who was so utterly traumatized by the ACORN raids will be back to express his outrage at YPM - just as soon as his mom comes downstairs and wakes him.
In all seriousness kudos to the LA Times for engaging in some actual journalism and investigating GOP voter reg drives. The problem with the YPM drive is the same as the ACORN drive, they both pay canvassers per registration. It's a system that is ripe for abuse and one that responsible organizations should do their best to avoid and, in fact, most already do. It's a problem but it's hardly the biggest issue with our current election system nor is it probably in the top ten.
Saying it again with me kids, voter registration fraud is not voter fraud. They are two seperate issues. There is evidence of voter registration fraud, there is no evidence of vote fraud on any level that would possibly effect the outcome of an election.
The GOP needs to deligitamize Barack Obama and the coming wave of Democratic wins across the nation. It's what they do. Ask Bill Clinton and Gray Davis.