John McCain’s fake hysteria was on full display in last night’s debate. Discussing voter registration drives in predominantly urban and minority communities McCain said this:
We need to know the full extent of Senator Obama’s relationship with ACORN, who is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe
destroying the fabric of democracy.”
Nonsense. Don’t be fooled by the predictable right wing hysteria over ACORN and “voter fraud.” Here is a helpful glossary of terms:
1) Voter Registration Fraud: This is when registration cards for “Mickey Mouse” are submitted. These are easily identified (often by the group registering voters i.e. ACORN since they are required by law to submit all registration forms…even the one’s which are obviously fraudulent). Effect on the integrity of election results? None.
2) Voter Fraud: This would be if “Mickey Mouse” actually showed up and tried to cast a vote. Effect on the integrity of election results? Negligible. From 2002 to 2005, only 25 people have been convicted of voter fraud. That’s 8 per year…nationally.
3) Voter Supression: This would be if Michael “Mickey” Johnson was a correctly registered and fully qualified voter. He is likely to be African-American; living in a predominantly African-American neighborhood… in a battleground state. His right to vote may be suppressed by the following means: innaccurately and illegally purging from voter list, disproportionately long lines to vote in minority neighborhoods, voter “caging”, scurrilous intimidation tactics such as blanketing a neighborhood with fliers stating “people with unpaid parking tickets will be arrested if they attempt to vote”, being purged from the voter list if your house is in foreclosure, etc. Effect on the integrity of the election process? Significant. Recognize that tens of thousands of legal voters can be disenfranchised with one keystroke.
If there is a threat to the fabric of our democracy it is voter supression. Whenever our right wing friends mention “voter fraud” they are laying the groundwork to disenfranchise legal voters. It is particularly shameful that the votes they don’t want to be counted are those of low income and minority voters.