Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2008 | 11:44 a.m.
The Republican National Committee is using the specter of voter fraud to raise money to ensure the November elections are "clean and fair."
Republicans are seizing on recent voter registration controversies involving the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now in a number of states, including Nevada.
As we pointed out Sunday, Nevada election officials have said that any fraudulent registrations will have no impact on the election because of existing safeguards. And, more importantly, wide-scale voter fraud has been proven to be a myth.
Nevertheless, RNC Chairman Mike Duncan claimed in a fundraising appeal yesterday that Democrats "will soon be trying to pad their totals at ballot boxes across the country with votes from voters that do not exist."
The e-mail continues:
"The Democrats have proven they will do and say whatever it takes to win this election. This isn't the first time they've tried to inflate voter rolls with false names and take money from questionable sources -- and it won't be the last.
"But this time we are ready for the liberals' deceitful tactics. We will not stand for the stealing of elections -- the tainting of our democracy -- by those who wish to subvert the rule of law."
The New York Times reported last year that a 5-year effort by the Bush administration to crack down on voter fraud turned up "virtually no evidence of any organized effort to skew federal elections."
Invoking "voter fraud" can be a catalyst for new election laws seen to suppress turnout. In Nevada, for instance, Gov. Jim Gibbons and Assembly Minority Leader Heidi Gansert are calling for a new law that would require voters to show a photo ID at the polls before voting.