Frank says 'universal voter registration' bill allegations are false

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) says conservatives are making up stories about his intention to intoduce a "universal voter registration" bill .

The Massachusetts Democrat is pushing back against rumors that he will introduce legislation requiring anyone whose name appears in a government databases--including felons and illegal aliens--to register to vote.

Frank's office cited a speech by the Wall Street Journal's John Fund as the origin of the rumor. The rumor has since been repeated by conservative radio hosts and blogs. Here's an excerpt from Fund's speech:

"In January, Chuck Schumer and Barney Frank will propose universal voter registration.

What is universal voter registration? It means all of the state laws on elections will be overridden by a federal mandate. The feds will tell the states, “Take everyone on every list of welfare recipients you have, take everyone on every list of unemployed you have, take everyone on every list of property owners, take everyone on every list of driver’s license holders, and register them to vote regardless of whether they want to be."

Frank says that is 100% false.

"This is how the right-wing echo chamber works,” Frank said in a statement.  "They begin with an absolute falsehood--John Fund’s claim that I plan to introduce universal voter legislation, a claim for which there is no basis whatsoever.  It is not a misinterpretation, it is not a quote out of context, it is not a misunderstanding – it is a lie. Period."

Frank continued: "Right-wing television reports it.  Right-wing talk radio repeats it. The Washington Times writes about it. They say it so often and with such certainty that people begin believe it even when it is a complete lie. These are their tactics.” 

Neither Fund nor a spokesman for Sen. Schumer were immediately available for comment.