Liberals Accuse Republicans Of “ACORN-Like” Get Out The Vote Efforts In Western North Dakota
The Huffington Post compares Republican efforts to get out the oil worker vote in western North Dakota to the notorious voter registration fraud of President Obama’s former employers at ACORN.
The main effort is getting people who are drawn to the oil patch from far and wide to sign up as North Dakota residents, which automatically allows them to vote. The state has no voter registration process, and out-of-staters can vote legally in North Dakota as long as they have lived there for at least 30 days.
In the western part of the state, though, the effort has gotten so agressive that it’s now targeting people in bars, temporary housing and even in RV parks and pop-up “skid shack” towns.
Most recently, the North Dakota Petroleum Council sent out an email telling oil and drilling companies to persuade their workers to vote, in spite of what could be viewed as temporary residencies.
“For skid shack parks, RV parks, and mobile home communities where you have no physical address for your unit, but have a nearby park office, we suggest [providing] the following: Name, Address of park office, Your specific lot/room number, City/State/Zip Code,” says the email, which was obtained by The Huffington Post.
The reason for a voter drive that would make ACORN proud is clear in a state like North Dakota: Only about 310,000 votes were cast in the last presidential election, and in 2010, Sen. John Hoeven (R) won his office with only 182,000 votes.
This is fantastically unfair. ACORN has a rap sheet of voter fraud as long as my arm. We’re talking purposeful efforts to create phony registrations for illegitimate, and sometimes even non-existent, voters for the express purpose of influencing the vote.
In western North Dakota there is merely an effort to bring to the polls the massive influx of new citizens who Republicans, rightly, think will probably cast their ballots overwhelmingly for Republicans. It’s a big opportunity for Republicans. As I wrote earlier today, the population in western North Dakota is expected to grow 52% over the next two decades. With the western part of the state being, historically, the most conservative part of the state Republicans have a big interest in ensuring all those new citizens cast their ballots in their new home state.
There’s a reason why Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp hasn’t spent a lot of time campaigning in the west. It’s because it’s a waste of her campaign resources.
Democrats, of course, would just as soon western North Dakotans not vote, for the very same reasons why Republicans want them to vote. The bigger an impact western North Dakota has on elections the smaller chance Democrats have of winning. Thus these thinly-sourced accusations of fraudulent get-out-the-vote efforts. Not to mention efforts by Democrats earlier this campaign cycle to attack Republicans over political contributions from oil industry workers and interests, as though an influx of support from the state’s fastest growing industry were somehow an inherently bad thing.
I’m not for vote fraud. That’s why I supported North Dakota’s voter ID laws, and that’s why I support similar laws in other states. People who cast fraudulent ballots, or who vote more than once in multiple places, are criminals. But let’s not be mislead into believing that these gripes from Democrats, who are historically opposed to stricter election laws, are anything more than a hail-mary effort to suppress a new voting bloc they know won’t be supporting them.Tags: acorn, bakken, Heidi Heitkamp, Kevin Cramer, North Dakota News, oil, pam gulleson, Rick Berg, voter fraud, voter id