Monday, October 13, 2008

The Truth On Alleged Voter Fraud

The Republican echo chamber, courtesy the so-called liberal media, is throwing around accusations of voter fraud. A few clarifications are in order. (Continued below the fold.)
1) First of all, what Republicans and their propaganda organs are alleging, with Fox News, the WSJ and Limbaugh at the helm, does not equate voter fraud. It is voter registration fraud. Now, some shills make this necessary distinction and some (Malkin, for example) don't. It may seem like a trivial distinction, but it is not. Voter fraud successfully perpetrated by individuals is very rare and hard to accomplish (one such successful case, ironically: Ann Coulter's).

ACORN collects registrations
. It is not ACORN's job to refuse the registration of a person who has volunteered to register. In most states ACORN has to submit *all* registrations to the state election board, even those known to have problems. However, registration fraud is a concern, and so ACORN spends a considerable amount of time and money flagging dubious or faulty registrations and helps law enforcement agencies to prosecute dishonest canvassers. But it is up to the state election board to follow up and clean up voter rolls.

2) Secondly, it is ridiculous that some of those who have been called to testify about registration fraud have complained that they have been pressured by ACORN canvassers to register multiple times. Sure, pressuring people to register multiple times is wrong. But Republicans always like to spew platitudes on "personal responsibility." So where is the personal responsibility of the idiots that agreed to be registered multiple times?

3) ACORN certainly needs to do something to address the impression that their canvassers are subject to quotas. ACORN canvassers who collect registration are now paid hourly wages. As any employer would, ACORN asks workers to meet basic productivity standards, a "quota" of--allegedly--25 registrations a day. Canvassers who don't meet this "quota" can be dismissed. (Why pay for those who are not doing their jobs, right? You'd think conservatives would understand and approve.) This scenario is far from the false one that Republicans allege, under which canvassers are paid for each registration they collect. Nonetheless, a perception problem exists that ACORN needs to solve somehow.

4) Election fraud is indeed a serious matter, and it has hardly anything to do with "Mickey Mouse" or "Bugs Bunny" registering to vote, or with some jackasses registering multiple times to vote.

The real fraud over the last two presidential elections has been consistently perpetrated by those same Republicans who are now crying foul at ACORN. The most insidious kind of fraud is that which relies on unverified electronic machines (DREs), that do not leave a paper trail and that can be hacked by anyone with access to them who wants to manipulate election results (typically by flipping vote counts).

The real fraud consists in denying people who are legally registered to vote a chance to cast their ballot because they have been illegally purged from election rolls by unscrupulous election officials.

The real fraud is the fact that in a presidential election in 2008 there is no unified federal standard that determines what equipment votes will be cast on (if any) or a uniform standard for recounts, for voting procedures, ballot types, etc.

Of course, you are free to join the Republican echo chamber and scream foul if you choose to. That just shows how uninformed and duped you are about the dangers that lurk for democracy at the polls.

Or, you can monitor election proceeding with a camcorder and make sure that you minimize the chance for foul play.

Your vote. Get informed and make it count.

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