Finally…some real voter fraud.
For a long time Republican lawmakers have been making it more difficult for people to vote, citing the possibility of voter fraud. They often cite the case of ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), an affiliation of community organizing groups, as a prime example of ‘massive voter fraud.’ This is based on voter registration forms ACORN volunteers and paid staffers turned in as a result of a voter registration drive.
A small percentage of those forms included clearly false information. For instance, some individuals might have filled out the form claiming to be Mickey Mouse or Thor, God of Thunder. By turning those forms over to local election officials, Republicans accused ACORN of attempting to commit voter fraud. That, of course, ignores a couple of inconvenient facts.
First, the people who engage in voter registration drives don’t get to pick and choose which forms they turn in. Otherwise partisans for one political party could simply throw away the registration forms filled out by citizens who identified as belonging to a different party, leaving those prospective voters with the impression they were registered to vote. So it’s legally required for groups to turn in ALL voter registration forms—even if they’re signed by Thor.
Second, there are NO records of anybody who filled out a voter registration form as Thor, God of Thunder actually attempting to cast a vote. Nobody claiming to be Mickey Mouse has shown up at a polling place, expecting to pull the lever or check the box for anybody running for office. That shit just don’t happen.
The fact is, voter suppression—a strategy at which Republicans excel—is far more likely to shape an election result than voter fraud. Individual voters attempting to cast more than one ballot or a fraudulent ballot is a wildly ineffective and inefficient strategy for stealing an election.
BUT…there are very, very rare instances of individual people who actually do cast an illegal vote. And we just had somebody convicted for actual, honest-to-Jeebus, no-shit voter fraud. Charlie White of Hamilton County, Indiana. A Republican.
And not just any Republican, but the Indiana Secretary of State—the top elections official in the state. Mr. White campaigned for the office by promising to “protect and defend Indiana’s Voter ID law to ensure our elections are fair and protect the most basic and precious right and responsibility of our democracy—voting.”
He might have gotten away with it if he’d registered as Mickey Mouse.
By the way, if you want to know the truth about voter fraud, you can read a report issued by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.
What troubles me as we approach the election is that the polling that takes place does not make any consideration for the outcome the Republicans’ suppression attempts might cause. In my opinion, suppression will significantly affect the plus-or-minus. Other than for the political blather programs on MSNBC and CNN (not surprisingly, suppression isn’t an issue on FOX), the GOP suppression attempts and the very real possibility it will decide who the next president will be have very little play in the media.
Oh, and a non-sequitor…
I’m getting tired of reporters completely ignoring—and not correcting—Republicans when they utter “Obamacare”… it’s the Affordable Care Act. Also… it’s the Democratic Party, not the Democrat Party. Reporters should correct these assholes every time they say the latter.
Just want to say I appreciate your writing and your perspective, Goose.