U.S. Sen. David Vitter last week introduced the Voter Fraud Prevention Act and the Protect Taxpayers from ACORN Act, which seek to protect taxpayers and the democratic process itself from the type of systemic fraud perpetrated by ACORN and related organizations in recent years.
The Voter Fraud Prevention Act, which seeks to prevent voter fraud by implementing a series of requirements on individuals involved in the distribution of voter registration application forms for federal elections, is cosponsored by U.S. Sens. Tom Coburn (R-OK), John McCain (R-AZ) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT).
"In the past few years, a significant number of voter fraud cases committed by ACORN and others have come to light, and these are cause for grave concern because the right to free elections is one of our country's most cherished freedoms," said Vitter. "Voter fraud threatens that right, and individuals or organizations that attempt to manipulate the system to bring about their own desired result should be stopped before they upend our electoral process."
Vitter's bill would help prevent voter fraud by requiring that individuals engaged in the distribution of voter application forms cannot be convicted felons, must sign and print legibly their name on the registration form and must include other identifying material -- including the name of any organization that they are working on behalf of. Further, the bill requires that these individuals certify -- under penalty of law -- that they haven't received financial compensation based on the number of forms they submit.
The Protect Taxpayers from ACORN Act would prevent the federal government from giving any funds -- whether through contracts, grants, or other mechanisms -- to spinoffs of ACORN or their various shell companies that have appeared under new names in recent years.
"In order to prevent ACORN from perpetrating another fraud on the American taxpayer, we must aggressively focus on the various ACORN state chapters and subsidiaries who have adopted new names in an attempt to defraud the system," said Vitter. "ACORN has a well-documented history of hiding behind various nonprofit protections in order to conceal their schemes, and my bill will ensure that American taxpayers are protected from ACORN and its numerous mutating state chapters."
Vitter has been active in calling attention to several investigations into voter fraud and suspicious activity by ACORN in recent years, and he has frequently highlighted the need for strengthened voter fraud prevention measures. In 2008, Vitter joined eight senators on a letter to then-U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey in support of an FBI investigation into allegations of widespread voter fraud by ACORN. Vitter also sent a letter that year to the U.S. Attorneys for the Western, Middle and Eastern Districts of Louisiana and the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in New Orleans highlighting examples of alleged voter fraud by such groups as Voting is Power.