THE BLOG
11/14/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Making Sense of ACORN

It seems that ACORN is the GOP scapegoat this year. They tipped their hands when they labeled Obama a dastardly "community organizer" repeatedly at their convention. That was before this hullabaloo hit the media. ACORN stands for "Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now." The GOP claims that thousands of fraudulent voter registrations have been submitted. They may be right, but their solution is flatly un-American.

Currently early voting facilities are closed in Indiana -- in districts that lean Dem of course. The evidence of fraud, anecdotal mostly, is primarily that people paid to turn in registrations were making them up, the most recent fake being Mickey Mouse. There are other stories about addicts and criminals hired to register voters: nothing that speaks to a conspiracy but rather opportunistic criminals looking to make a few quick bucks. In Nevada college Democrats fought to kick ACORN off campus. Out of the 1.3 million voters registered there are 10,000 registrations in question. Not all are patently fraudulent. They also could have incorrect or incomplete information. In Colorado where there are no stories of impropriety, there are still charges of fraud.

So what do you do? If you're the GOP, you want to close the polls and challenge the registration with the explicit goal of eliminating as many votes from these districts as possible. One of the most reprehensible planks in the GOP is their voter disenfranchisement efforts and this fits right in.

Why is that a bad idea? In a nutshell (pun intended) voter registration fraud is a crime but prohibiting someone's right to vote is a bigger crime. When Mickey Mouse comes to the poll that's when you challenge. The worst thing is to disallow 1.3 million votes on the basis of a fraudulent 10,000 registrants who aren't very likely to even vote. That's another example of the tried and true GOP tactic of voter caging.

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