While out in Washington in meetings about collecting election data, I received an email from a reporter about an interesting voter registration scheme that was allegedly undertaken recently in Orange County. The story is in the Orange County “Register, and it seems to involve a couple of different problems associated with paid voter registration efforts.
Here is more from the story about the schemes:
More than 100 Orange County residents who thought they were simply signing petitions to cure breast cancer, punish child molesters or build schools were duped into registering as Republicans, an Orange County Register investigation found.
The ruse took place over several days in December and January at shopping centers throughout Anaheim, Santa Ana, Buena Park, Westminster and Garden Grove, where paid petitioners begged, cajoled, lied and committed forgery to get so-called Republican converts. Petition circulators were paid as much as $7 for each GOP registration.
Orange County election officials have received complaints from 167 people who were flipped to the Republican Party without their permission. The Register found the problem was far wider, interviewing 112 others who were not only switched, they were tricked and deceived. Among the victims is a lifelong Democrat who was pressured to fill out forms even though she didn’t have her glasses and couldn’t see what she was signing.
The story also has an interesting graphic regarding the schemes alleged to have been used in Orange County. I hope to have more about these schemes once I’m back in town and have a chance to talk more with the reporters covering this story in the OC.