making a mountain out of an ACORN

One political party is accusing the other of trying to steal the election. (Also, a pot called a biracial kettle “black” in an attempt to scare certain voters.)

This time, though, it’s the Republicans claiming the Democrats are trying to steal the election, by the rather dubious means of registering enough bogus voters to win. Uh, how would that work again? If I register 25 voters in the name of (as this article notes) the Dallas Cowboys, that doesn’t mean the Dallas Cowboys are going to show up to vote – and certainly not to vote for a particular candidate. It’s pretty obvious (as finally made clear in the last paragraphs) that fraudulent registration in the names of fictitious or ineligible “voters” occurred primarily in order for the registration worker to earn more money…since at one time, such workers were paid by how many voters they registered.

That’s clearly a bad idea – but the few cases of fraud it led to were not voter fraud, but fraud against ACORN, in that they fooled or attempted to fool ACORN into paying workers for voters that they had not actually registered. This method of pay has been changed…but the record demonstrates, again and again, that voter fraud is a vanishingly small problem.

No wonder: who would risk a large fine or jail time just to cast one vote for a candidate, as if that’s going to turn an election? Almost nobody…and again, the very few instances of purported fraud turned out to arise from bad registration info (outdated addresses, incorrect initials, and so on), or from confusion (ineligible voters unaware of their ineligibility) and not from an 88-year-old guy trying to vote a third time as “Brett Favre.”

If the Democrats wanted to steal an election, they have far better examples of how to do it, drawn from recent history.

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