The Fraud Machine

In his last debate, John McCain ominously proclaimed that ACORN is âÄúnow on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.âÄù Maybe. Or maybe Republicans are distracting us and priming us for the heaviest onslaught of legal challenges to an election in American history. ACORN registered 400,000 fictitious voters, according to liberal estimates. But this does not mean that 400,000 fraudulent votes will be cast this election. Fraudulent registrations must first pass through election officialsâÄô verification process onto voter rolls. Then, with ID matching the false information, a real person must risk 10 years in prison to cast a single fraudulent vote. A study after the 2004 election found these hurdles and risks limited the number of fraudulent votes to 0.00004 percent. The real threat here is not ACORN, but the belief that ACORN is a threat. This distracts from and justifies real voter fraud being committed by Republicans who learned from Florida 2000, when then-Secretary of State Katherine Harris successfully purged more than 170,000 voters from the rolls, deeming them ineligible felons; more than 100,000 (88 percent black) were legitimate voters with similar names or misdemeanors. While Republicans masterfully prep and distract us, they have purged 30,000 âÄúquestionableâÄù voter registrations in Colorado and 40,000 in Georgia. Luckily for the 200,000 purged in Ohio, the Supreme Court stepped in. DonâÄôt get caught up in the spin cycle of ACORN, especially on Election Day, when droves of legitimate and newly registered voters may find their votes legally challenged in this unfortunate atmosphere of increased suspicion.