An ACORN primer

October 15, 2008

ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is an outfit that seeks to ’empower low and moderate income families’.  So far, so good.  In recent years, its efforts have been focused on voter registration.  To do this, they have paid part time workers to register voters on a commission basis, which naturally led to many forged registration cards being submitted.  It is also very likely that there was a widespread understanding that many of the registration cards were fraudulent.

So far, so criminal.  But does it really matter?  Famously, Mickey Mouse was registered to vote in Florida.  This is clear evidence of wrongdoing but probably not a genuine problem.  It’s not like some guy in a Mickey costume is going to wander over from Disney World to the polling station and demand a ballot.  (“I don’t know, Bob, I think we have to give one to him.  After all, he is registered.”)  People (read: Cornerites, etc.) have hinted darkly that massive numbers of fraudulent registrations create the opportunity for fraudulent voting.  True, as far as it goes.  But Matty Y has pointed out that there are no examples of actual voter fraud.  And, indeed, if you read ACORN editorials from rightish folk, all you find is the appearance of wrongdoing or the vague possibility of it.  Similarly if you search the Corner for ACORN references: it’s lobbed alongside Ayers, but without ever showing how it will lead to voter fraud.

For what it’s worth, I think we should have a national ID and just use that to vote.  Akhbar says that makes me a fascist.  I say I already have a passport and so does Akhbar, so what’s the big deal?

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