As the 2008 election process draws near -- and with early voting in many states having already begun -- conservatives are raising a great hue and cry about the threat of voter fraud. Attacks have centered on the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), the "nation's largest grassroots community organization of low- and moderate-income people," whose workers have registered 1.3 million new voters this year. Conservatives like Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) and former Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell have seized on reports of improperly filled-out forms as evidence of "lawlessness" and "voting fraud," which will lead to "the kind of chaos you expect from a category-five hurricane." But mass voter fraud is just a conservative myth used to justify increasing the difficulty of the voting process. In an interview with Salon, Lori Minnite, a professor of political science at Barnard College who investigated allegations of widespread voter fraud, explained, "From 2002 to 2005 only one person was found guilty of registration fraud. Twenty people were found guilty of voting while ineligible and five people were found guilty of voting more than once. That's 26 criminal voters -- voters who vote twice, impersonate other people, vote without being a resident ... Meanwhile thousands of people are getting turned away at the polls."
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