Long ago (think Nixon Southern strategy days) there was a fiendishly clever way to rob voters of their votes. It involved organizing a "voter registration drive" usually in a poor or minority areas. The drive’s promoters would collect voter registration applications from the citizens in that area and assure them that the drive’s organizers would see that they were properly filed with the correct Board of Elections.

Instead, they would throw them down some sewer.

The would be voter would show up on Election Day to find out that his name was not in the book and he was not eligible to vote. So, although the voter could later apply to vote, for THAT cycle at least, the voter’s vote had been stolen from him.

This led to rules that require, sometimes upon pain of criminal prosecution, voter registration drives to turn in every single application it collects, even if it has a good faith reason to believe the application is defective–such as an application by Mickey Mouse.

Now you know why ACORN is turning in funky applications, because it is required to do so–but I digress.

Once again, persons of ill will have found a way to rob voters of their registrations. This time, it involves falsely registering people to the Republican party without their knowledge or consent.

Dozens of newly minted Republican voters say they were duped into joining the party by a GOP contractor with a trail of fraud complaints stretching across the country.

Voters contacted by The Times said they were tricked into switching parties while signing what they believed were petitions for tougher penalties against child molesters. Some said they were told that they had to become Republicans to sign the petition, contrary to California initiative law. Others had no idea their registration was being changed.

Why would they do that you ask?

The firm, which a Republican Party spokesman said is paid $7 to $12 for each registration it secures, has denied any wrongdoing and says it has never been charged with a crime.

The 70,000 voters YPM has registered for the Republican Party this year will help combat the public perception that it is struggling amid Democratic gains nationally, give a boost to fundraising efforts and bolster member support for party leaders, political strategists from both parties say.

Here’s the scoop, enthusiasm for the Obama candidacy has caused overwhelming numbers of new Dems to register. My own beloved Nassau County, Long Island went from red to blue a week or so ago for the first time in a generation. The GOP has nothing to answer that, except cheating.

Why am I not surprised?