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Community Voters Project Registers 82,000 Minorities

Tim Craig

Community Voters Project announced yesterday it has registered at least 82,000 minority voters in Virginia.

For the past several months, the non-partisan group has had 370 staffers working in cities across the state. The group paid special attention to Petersburg, Hampton, Richmond, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Roanoke, Lynchburg, Fredericksburg and Falls Church.

If its estimates are correct, the 82,000 figure is the first real indication of the percentage of newly registered voters in Virginia who are black or Hispanic. The State Board of Elections does not collect such data, but the board announced last week nearly 350,000 people have registered to vote between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30. County registrars are also currently processing thousands of additional applications that arrived between Sept. 30 and yesterday, which was the deadline to register in Virginia.

If the number of total new registrants this year eventually swells to 400,000, the efforts by Community Voters Project would guarantee that at least 20 percent of the new registrants are minorities. That means the total percentage of new minority registrants is likely to be much higher because Sen. Barack Obama's campaign and other outside groups have also been targeting African-Americans and Hispanics.

The higher that percentage grows, the better it is for Obama's campaign because polls show him getting near universal support from African Americans.

African Americans make up 20 percent of Virginia's population, but they often account for just 14 to 18 percent of the electorate, although they could make up a larger share this year.

But Community Voters Project's registration campaign in Virginia has not been without controversy. In July, three paid canvassers working for the group were charged with submitting false names on voter registration forms in Hampton.

Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick, the chairman of the Virginia Republican Party, then accused Community Voters Project of being part of "coordinated and widespread effort to commit voter fraud" in Virginia.

Democrats countered Frederick of trying to suppress minority voting, and Frederick quickly backtracked from his initial statements. But the Republican National Committee has stepped up efforts in recent days to highlight allegedly fraudulent registration efforts in several other states.

Although voter registration efforts nationwide may boost Obama's chances in several states, they come with risks if all those new voters don't turn out.

Some conservatives say certain segments of the GOP base are energized to show up at the polls this year because of the tactics that have been employed by Community Voters Project and groups such as ACORN in registering new voters.

By Tim Craig  |  October 7, 2008; 12:07 AM ET
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Comments

Although non-partisan a quick visit to Community Voter's Project website (part of Fund for the Public Interest) makes it clear where the group's ideology lies.

Also, the Community Voter's Project was recently implicated in voter registration fraud. Just an oversight on the part of the writer, I'm sure.

Posted by: Whatever | October 7, 2008 1:17 AM | Report abuse

My fellow Republicans, it is high time that we review the Nixon strategy of race baiting and voter suppression. I've always found it disgraceful but it has worked for the past decades.

With the changing demographics, it is time to actually build our support in minority communities rather than undermining them. McCain started to do that but has given up under RNC pressure, and that is a travesty for our party's future.

Posted by: FLRepublican | October 7, 2008 2:09 AM | Report abuse

We better make sure that those votes cast for Obama do not go mysteriously missing or destroyed by the Repub tricsters!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Including the homeless being bussed in to vote for Obama, I'd like to know what percentage of Obama supporters actually pay taxes. How many know that the Democrats bear most of the blame of this financial crisis (Frank, Dodd, Schuman, Pelosi, Obama). How many know that McCain and other Republicans have tried to implement legislation that would have prevented this meltdown but were defeated by these same Democrats?
Obama's economic policies, if he is elected, will push us over the edge into another Great Depression. Instead of lifting up the lower and middle-class, we'll all be pulled down. Expect businesses to close or relocate out of the country; jobs will be lost; raises and benefits will be reduced or eliminated. The programs he has promised with one trillion dollars of new spending will not be implemented as there will be no money to fund them. The pullout from Iraq will enable Al Quaeda to regain control and we will be stuck fighting TWO wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I cannot imagine a bleaker future for this coountry if Obama is elected.

Posted by: FINANCIAL RUIN | October 7, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

GO OBAMA 08!!

McCain is not handling any of the issues and brings in a VP to go and character attack. Keep registering people and VOTE
smear tactics do not work........

Bring home Virginia for OBAMA


no more BUSH/McCAIN

Posted by: Tara | October 7, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I get a little tired of this phrase that Obama is targeting minority voters, because it implies that others were excluded. I can assure you that we registered everybody who came up to our local Obama table!

The volunteers staffing the table week in and week out were the face of Fairfax County: white, black, Asian, Hispanic, and a mix of every immigrant group under the sun. More striking to most of us was the diversity of age among the volunteers, including plenty of us middle-aged folks in the 40s and 50s, as well as youngsters and older retirees.

And the people who walked up to us and registered were just the same -- white, black, Hispanic, Asian, various immigrant groups, all ages. By far the majority of Virginia voters registering at our particular table happened to be white.

I'm glad about the extra outreach to minority voters (which is really what the "targeting" amounts to) but don't want people to think there was a lack of outreach to others. There wasn't. If you lived in Virginia and wanted to register, there were countless opportunities in all kinds of public places, all in addition to your local elections office.

Posted by: Fairfax Voter | October 7, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Whatever -- apparently you can't read, since it was mentioned in the article. Contrary to constant Republican bleating, paid canvassers submitting fake names isn't "voter fraud." Mickey Mouse ain't going to come out and vote. It's fraud *against the organization that employed them* and it was punished. The organization wasn't "involved" any more than a company is "involved" if an employee embezzles.

Posted by: Redshift | October 7, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Redshift for setting that straight. To some Republicans, any registered minority voter is fraudulent, apparently.

ACORN and other groups are often maligned because they have paid canvassers on staff that do something they shouldn't be doing (and it's always a tiny percentage of their workforce), but what they always conveniently leave out is that the groups are the ones who catch and prosecute the fraud!!! Oh that's OK b/c as we're seeing yet again, truth is irrelevant to a wing-nut/neocon. The truth is, they're just scared of real democracy and having EVERY citizen's real vote counted.

Our work here in one little corner of Fairfax County yielded over 1,100 voter registrations just this past weekend. Add up the rest of the county and NoVA and I'm CERTAIN that we registered over 10,000 voters JUST in the NoVA "communist country" as Joe McCain would have it.

Ha ha...jokes on you, GOP!

Posted by: Doug in Mount Vernon | October 7, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Nevada state authorities raided the Las Vegas headquarters of the nation’s largest grassroots community organization for low-income people today as part of a voter-fraud probe. Nevada’s Secretary of State, Ross Miller, initiated the raid, after a series of accusations that the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, also known as ACORN, was submitting voter registration lists to the state that contained false or duplicate names of voters. Maybe this should be checked out too!

Posted by: lksk | October 8, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

and in 2006 Brett Blume Reports St. Louis (KMOX News) -- (St. Louis) -- Eight ACORN Workers Arrested For Election Fraud - Eight people face federal voter fraud charges for work they performed in support of a Missouri minimum wage ballot item in 2006. (CBS) CBS News Investigative Producers Pia Malbran and Wendy Krantz wrote this story for CBSNews.com. Sounds like this is standard procedure for Acorn. Wasn't there also a similar thing that happened that Barack Obama used to get elected the first time? I will look it up and let you know.

Posted by: lksk | October 8, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

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