Before we have any discussion about voter fraud, we need to clarify the difference between voter registration fraud and voter fraud.
Voter Registration Fraud is when Mickey Mouse registers to vote. For this to be an issue at all, a fake voter registration form needs to be turned in (actually, it’s legally required that is turned in) then election officials need to someone how not realize that Mickey Mouse isn’t a real person and then someone who claims to be Mickey Mouse needs to show up and actually vote. Oh and this would need to happen hundreds of thousands of times to have any affect on an election.
Vote Fraud on the other hand is when someone who isn’t allowed to vote for whatever reason actually does vote.
ACORN “committed” voter registration fraud … sort of. ACORN, like most organizations that register voters or petition, often pays people by the signature/registration form. Obviously, there will be unethical people that turn in bogus papers to get paid. (Incidentally, this is the reason that petitions often have a goal of double the number of signatures they actually need). In the incidence that has beeen highlighted this campaign season, ACORN itself was the one who pointed out the phony forms to the state. They are legally required to turn in the forms anyway. Let me repeat: ACORN told the state the forms were fault and followed through on their legal obligation to turn in the forms.
Here’s a video with more info: The Truth About ACORN.
But there is another kind of activity that limits people’s right to vote: Voter Suppression. There are many tactics that are used to suppress voters: purge lists, “challenging” voters, provisional ballots, intimidation, and whatever else the Republican party comes up with. The Republican party has been engaged in systematic disenfranchisement of voters on a national scale since at least 2000. The ACORN story (as noted in the video) is just another tactic. How you may ask?
Well, here’s how it works: Republicans cry voter fraud before the election which in turn gives them fuel to challenge the results of the election once it’s over. Or they may do what they’re planning to do in Michigan which is to get a list of voters registered by ACORN (or whose homes are foreclosed or whatever) and then have people at polling stations who challenge those voters as they come into the polls. As noted in the Palast article, most of the provisional ballots handed out (along with many absentee ballots) in 2004 were never counted.
Worried about whether your vote will count? You should be.
The key points are:
- DO NOT Mail in your Ballot
- Vote Early
- DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES vote provisionally
To verify that you are registered, go here.