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Message chuck hillestad
John McCain insists that ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, and its 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 gleefully cite that some petitioners have signed voter registration cards with names of non-existent people such as "Mickey Mouse." The Republicans' premise however requires a second step.  Here, they make an entirely unsupported leap of imagination with their wild allegations that a few individuals turning in bogus voter registration cards will automatically result in massive voter fraud on election day.  They conveniently omit of course that anyone actually showing up on November 4 claiming he is Mickey Mouse will have to produce ID to that effect.  

ACORN, a widely respected collection of entities, has been doing similar voter registration drives for years.  Is there a history of a hundred thousand Mickey Mouses or the equivalent caught trying to vote since ACORN started its programs?  Apparently not.  What is missing as usual is much in the way of useful corroboration to support the Republicans' speculations about ACORN.  Very few cases even of individuals have been produced by them 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.  

Voter fraud is something we should be concerned about and address in a bipartisan manner.  No doubt some individuals lacking a basic sense of honesty will try to seek advantage if they can by whatever means they dream up.  No doubt some of those will be registered Democrats.  No doubt many Democrats deserve a swift kick in the rear.  However, to suggest that ACORN will cause what is described as the most massive voter fraud in history, is not just frivolous, not just wildly speculative, it's downright irresponsible fear mongering.

Moreover, 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 which pays for workers to seek out new voters, but it is not vote fraud against the state unless and until a faked registration card is attempted to be used by someone to actually vote in an election.  There are already laws against that.

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 ever more 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.  

Republicans point out some lawsuits have been filed, mostly by Republicans against ACORN, as additional "evidence" of their assumptions of vote fraud by ACORN.  While the current Republican Administration has gone a long way toward erasing our country's former bedrock principle of presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, that concept hasn't been totally eliminated yet.  No convictions have actually been forthcoming.  And, we now know from disclosures and investigations of the Alberto Gonzales Justice Department years that Republican prosecutors purposefully file such suits shortly before elections with no real belief of guilt, but solely as a campaign tactic.  

Isn't it interesting how it is almost exclusively Republicans, whose mantra is usually to forcefully proclaim their party is the one supposedly all for "freedom" and "democracy," who biannually attempt to prevent fellow Americans from exercising the democratic freedom to vote?  Come to think of it, when was the last time you heard about anyone other than Republicans so tenaciously seeking to reduce the list of those allowed to vote?  The Republicans use the magic words at every rally, but don't seem to believe what the words are supposed to mean.

In contrast to the allegations spread in the new media about ACORN, 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" and what party controlled the election office in that state)?  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, you pound them.  If not, then the tactic becomes just pounding the table.  Loudly.  The latest gambit by  Republicans seems to be little more than accuse others and maybe the press will neglect to investigate what Republicans are doing.

Over time, it is becoming increasingly clear that Republicans would apparently 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.
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current attorney/ former 101st Airborne infantryman/ occasional writer (a birth defect no doubt)/ permanent gadfly afflicted with a sardonic sense of humor/ unabashed human rights liberal/ abashed fiscal conservative/
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