When Helen Conly, one of the organizers of the Democratic voter registration group Vote Blue, checked on You Tube today to try to find out more about the man who was arrested in Los Angeles County over the weekend on charges of voter fraud, she recognized the man in the video clip
It turns out, Conly says, that Mark Jacoby is the same fellow who was involved in a brouhaha earlier this month in the parking lot of the Target Store on Main Street in Ventura.
Conly and others in the county have collected 20 affadivits from Ventura County voters who say they were duped into registered as Republicans by workers for Jacoby's company, Young Political Majors. The complaints have been turned over to the District Attorney's Office for investigation.
State Republican Party spokesman Hector Barajas said the party has been paying Jacoby's crew from $7 to $12 for each Republican voter registration they turn in, with the amount varying depending on the districts in which the voters live.
Barajas said the party has taken great pains to ensure that all who register as Republicans do so knowingly. He said the party requires each voter registration affidavit be accompanied by a signed statement from the voter saying the affidavit was obtained without deceit or coercion. In addition, he said, the party has followed up with automated phone calls and postcards that include a message that says if the voter is unaware he or she has registered as a Republican he or she might be a victim of fraud.
Whatever procedural safeguards are set up, however, paying a $7 to $12 bounty for GOP registrations only is an invitation for abuse. Conly notes that when Vote Blue was active last last year and early this year, it paid workers by the hour. The bounty hunting system, she said, "sets you up for fraud."