As the final deadline for voter registration draws near, political parties are scrambling to get their people signed up. Along the way some of their tactics are raising eyebrows.
A KOLO 8 viewer caught one example on his cell phone Friday.
Noticing a man registering voters outside the main post office on Vassar he says he couldn't believing what he was hearing as he passed. So he returned to engage the man in conversation and took video of it all on his cell phone..
It all seemed normal at first.
"It's your last hour to register to vote," the man said.
"Are you registering both parties?" our viewer asked.
The man said yes, but then the conversation took the same strange turn our viewer thought he'd heard in passing.
"Could you do me a favor?" the man asked. "Mark non-partisan on there. I'll get credit for it. I don't get credit for Democrats.
I am a Democrat," he continued. "So I still do Democrats if I have to, but I'm working for the Republican Party. I have to get two an hour and I don't get credit for Democrats."
There are legal boundaries which can be crossed when you pay someone to register voters.
According to Secretary of State Ross Miller it's a felony to compensate someone for registering if you compensate them based on the total number of voters they are registering.
In fact, in 2008 Miller did prosecute the now defunct ACORN organization.
"In ACORN we obtained a criminal conviction because they were paying bonuses based on the total number they were able to register. The Supreme Court upheld that," says Miller.
But the law does allow for an employer to set performance standards. in this case. It's not clear what the payment arrangement was,
"It is alarming that he was making some suggestion that he wouldn't be credited for a registration if it came under a particular party affiliation, but there's no explanation what that meant."
Bottom line: The man's request was inappropriate, perhaps even disturbing, but the video didn't show a clear violation of the law.
Once someone has filled out a voter registration form, that form must be turned in within 10 days. There have been allegations that may not always happen.
"We have had complaints this cycle that forms have been destroyed by political parties if people don't register with that political party and so we urge people to log onto our website and make sure that they are, in fact, registered."
That website is http://nvsos.gov/index.aspx?page=3
Miller says if they see a problem they should report it to his office for investigation.
A spokesman for the Romney campaign says to his knowledge, they had only volunteer, no paid voter register people in the field last Friday. He acknowledged that independent groups have had voter registration drives.
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