You wouldn’t know it from the big headline in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel or if you listened to any of the right wing paranoia, but the voter registration system in Milwaukee is working exactly as it should. Organizations have been very successful in registering voters in very large numbers, something that is critical in a properly functioning participatory form of government. Even with the large numbers of people being registered, these groups have established many quality control measures. They are catching the small amount of mistakes and the even smaller instances of mischief, and taking appropriate action in each case. All reports show that they are working seamlessly with the Milwaukee Election Commission and the result thus far has been a great success.
The right wing has shown repeatedly over the years that they are willing to throw the ‘voter fraud’ accusation at anything and everything and just hope that something will eventually stick. In recent years they have even gone to the lengths of holding press conferences outside innocent people’s homes suggesting that they have engaged in voter fraud. Even when their specific accusations are repeatedly debunked they continue to parrot the false claims as if their repetition would somehow make them true. At this point it seems clear that they are going to run the same drill no matter how perfect the system works.
First the right wing whipped themselves into a frenzy about ACORN’s hugely successful voter registration drive totaling about 33,000. In some twisted realm of the conservative universe this was a terrible thing because there was a very small percentage of problems with an extremely small number of registration cards. Those issues were found by ACORN and relayed to the Election Commission and appropriate actions were taken. Now the right is howling again because a different community organization registered voters and found an even smaller number of issues. Again, that group appears to have had the correct process in place, spotted the few problems and alerted the Election Commission and the appropriate actions have been taken.
If anything this new report is just another example of how the voter registration system is working in Milwaukee. When you are registering large numbers of people, which most would think is a wonderful thing, you are inevitably going to run into a small number of issues. If you have the correct system in place, you are able to register a large number of people and also weed out the mistakes. According to the actual facts that have been reported thus far, that is exactly what has happened and it should be celebrated as a huge success not attacked with name calling and baseless accusations.