Or, Why Are Republicans Really Attacking Non-Profit ACORN?
John McCain insists that ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, and it’s efforts to register low income and other under represented residents encouraging them to turn out for the vote will somehow be the biggest voter fraud in history. An astonishing claim.
As supposed “evidence,” Republicans like Senator McCain and the pundits in their pocket cite that some petitioners have signed voter registration cards with names of non-existent people such as “Mickey Mouse,” conveniently forgetting of course that anyone actually showing up on November 4 claiming he is Mickey Mouse will have to produce ID to that effect. As usual though, little in the way of genuine hard evidence to support the Republican’s theory and wild speculations is ever produced as to any actual voter fraud that resulted from such silly false names. And if any is trotted forth, it typically is exaggerated and anecdotal at best. In other words, there are never any verifiable totals provided which even remotely hint this really is any sort of a significant problem.
Ignored entirely is the efforts of ACORN itself to prevent fraud from occurring and the fact that many such instances were only exposed because it was ACORN, not Republicans, who revealed them so they could be deleted. It is even possible in light of prior dirty tricks by Republicans that some of the false names may even have been submitted covertly by Republicans hoping to discredit ACORN. In any event, false signings may be a fraud against ACORN, but it is not vote fraud against the state unless and until it is attempted to be used by someone to actually vote in an election. There are already laws against that.
And, have you ever noticed how it is almost exclusively Republicans, who mantra is usually to loudly assert their party is the one supposedly all for “freedom” and “democracy” When was the last time you heard about anyone other than Republicans attempt to prevent others from voting? Yet, the mere suggestion of the remote possibility that Mr. Mickey Mouse might show up to ask for a ballot is sufficient for Republican legislatures to quiver and pass laws making it increasing difficult for poor, new, elderly, disabled and/or minority voters (i.e. those who would likely vote Democrat), and only such potential voters, to exercise their rights.
In contrast, the far greater possibility, in fact the proven opportunity, of hackable electronic voting machines with their secret “proprietary” software built and often serviced exclusively by Republican zealot owned companies like Diebold is completely dismissed. Dismissed despite tests showing again and again how quickly and easy it is to do so with such no-paper-ballot generating machines. Also, largely dismissed by the same Republican legislators and pontificating pundits is the unquestionably large number of legitimate votes by low income groups almost routinely blocked or thwarted by misinformation given to prospective voters either deliberately or inadvertently, by purging of rolls without timely alerting the voters purged, by direct and indirect nuisance intimidation of such groups though use of police or press or partisans, or by unequal treatment of voting stations regarding maintaining a convenient number of voting machines and polling staff available which adversely affects length of time and stress on voters election day. And, have we forgotten difficult ballot formatting (remember the Florida “butterfly ballots”)? All of these tactics tend to punish or totally disenfranchise primarily the poor, new, elderly, disabled and/or minority voters who tend to vote for anyone other than Republicans.
All the sound and fury sure on this subject looks like nothing more than Republicans attempting once again to divert attention from their own propensities for potential voter fraud. In psychology, the trait exhibited by the Republicans touting this latest anti-ACORN theory would be known as "projection." In litigation, when you have the facts or the law in your favor, pound them. If not, then as used here by the Republicans, the tactic becomes just pounding the table. Loudly. Accuse others and maybe they will neglect to investigate you.
Over time, it is becoming increasingly clear that Republicans would apparently secretly prefer that the only people who should get to vote in America are white, elderly, males who are registered Republican . . . and sit on the US Supreme Court.