ACORN worker indicted in MO

Clarice Feldman and Rosslyn Smith
An ACORN worker in St. Louis faces felony charges over voter registration fraud of the worst kind: exploiting the vulnerabilities of the eldery. St. Louis Today reports:
Deidra Humphrey, 44, of East St. Louis, is expected to appear in U.S. District Court in St. Louis this week after a grand jury indicted her on the charges Dec. 31, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Humphrey is accused of submitting forged and false voter registration cards for the Nov. 8 general election — including forging cards for nursing home residents — U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway said Monday.
The super elderly are particularly susceptible to many types of hanky panky at the ballot box, from the outright forgery of their names on voter registration cards, such as  case from Missouri to the unethical influence of those who lack mental capacity by caregivers and others.  While outright fraud may be the exception, using pressure both direct and indirect on those prone to suggestion may be more common than people realize. 

When I lived in Chicago and was active in my local Republican Party there was always a need for election judges to accompany the Board of Election employees as they visited local nursing homes the week before the elections to help the residents cast absentee ballots lest such assistance go beyond the merely clerical.  In rural North Carolina county employees ferry elderly voters to the polling places.  A neighbor here whose mother is showing signs of early Alzheimer's has complained to me that precinct workers beat him to the punch two elections in a row now,  taking his mother  to vote during the day after he promised her to take her there himself after work.  When he talked to her in the evening, she'd changed her mind about who to vote for because of what someone told her during that ride. This included voting for a local property tax increase that upset her greatly a few months later when she received the bill.
I was reminded again of how some among our elderly are highly susceptible to suggestion when I visited my own mother a couple of weeks after this years' election and saw an "I Voted" sticker in a prominent place on the tray of her walker.  I gulped at the very thought of Mom voting.  Once active in Minnesota Republican politics, Mom sadly no longer even knows the names of many of those in her own family much less the names on the ballot.  Once keen to discuss the issues of the day, she now gets very confused whenever those around her talk of politics and mutters that she just wants us all to get along.  It's a highly respected private facility so I doubt any of the residents were subjected to any overt arm twisting.  It's more likely that a notice was posted of the location of the polling place, which was in a community room in the retirement complex, and that she simply followed other residents there.  I also know that when she had her mental faculties Mom greatly admired Norm Coleman and thought he had done a fine job as her mayor.  Unfortunately whether she even recognized his name on the ballot this election is anyone's guess.  When I talked to her she had no memory of the recent election and the contentious aftermath of the Coleman-Franken race. 
What I do know is that Mom is conditioned to do exactly what any authority figure in the complex suggests she do.  It makes me nervous to thinks about how many ballots by people in her condition may have been cast.   With an estimated 5.2 million people in the nation in some stage of Alzheimer disease, many of whom are in the part or full time custody of those with an economic interest in expanding government services, it is a question that should make us all a bit queasy.
An ACORN worker in St. Louis faces felony charges over voter registration fraud of the worst kind: exploiting the vulnerabilities of the eldery. St. Louis Today reports:
Deidra Humphrey, 44, of East St. Louis, is expected to appear in U.S. District Court in St. Louis this week after a grand jury indicted her on the charges Dec. 31, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Humphrey is accused of submitting forged and false voter registration cards for the Nov. 8 general election — including forging cards for nursing home residents — U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway said Monday.
The super elderly are particularly susceptible to many types of hanky panky at the ballot box, from the outright forgery of their names on voter registration cards, such as  case from Missouri to the unethical influence of those who lack mental capacity by caregivers and others.  While outright fraud may be the exception, using pressure both direct and indirect on those prone to suggestion may be more common than people realize. 

When I lived in Chicago and was active in my local Republican Party there was always a need for election judges to accompany the Board of Election employees as they visited local nursing homes the week before the elections to help the residents cast absentee ballots lest such assistance go beyond the merely clerical.  In rural North Carolina county employees ferry elderly voters to the polling places.  A neighbor here whose mother is showing signs of early Alzheimer's has complained to me that precinct workers beat him to the punch two elections in a row now,  taking his mother  to vote during the day after he promised her to take her there himself after work.  When he talked to her in the evening, she'd changed her mind about who to vote for because of what someone told her during that ride. This included voting for a local property tax increase that upset her greatly a few months later when she received the bill.
I was reminded again of how some among our elderly are highly susceptible to suggestion when I visited my own mother a couple of weeks after this years' election and saw an "I Voted" sticker in a prominent place on the tray of her walker.  I gulped at the very thought of Mom voting.  Once active in Minnesota Republican politics, Mom sadly no longer even knows the names of many of those in her own family much less the names on the ballot.  Once keen to discuss the issues of the day, she now gets very confused whenever those around her talk of politics and mutters that she just wants us all to get along.  It's a highly respected private facility so I doubt any of the residents were subjected to any overt arm twisting.  It's more likely that a notice was posted of the location of the polling place, which was in a community room in the retirement complex, and that she simply followed other residents there.  I also know that when she had her mental faculties Mom greatly admired Norm Coleman and thought he had done a fine job as her mayor.  Unfortunately whether she even recognized his name on the ballot this election is anyone's guess.  When I talked to her she had no memory of the recent election and the contentious aftermath of the Coleman-Franken race. 
What I do know is that Mom is conditioned to do exactly what any authority figure in the complex suggests she do.  It makes me nervous to thinks about how many ballots by people in her condition may have been cast.   With an estimated 5.2 million people in the nation in some stage of Alzheimer disease, many of whom are in the part or full time custody of those with an economic interest in expanding government services, it is a question that should make us all a bit queasy.