Leading up to every presidential election conservatives make wild accusations about rampant voter fraud in Wisconsin, even though all objective views show that those charges are false. In addition, with the coming of each new election, conservatives always seem to find a new ‘boogy man.’ One year they attack gay people while the next they go after immigrants, when their finished with that demagoguery they move on to the next innocent target. This year they have apparently decided to marry those two tactics by attacking a group that has registered record numbers of poor people to vote, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). Now Wisconsin’s Republican members of Congress are joining in the nationwide chorus of slander against a good organization that is responsible for doing all kinds of good works.
Nationally ACORN has registered an amazing 1.3 million people to vote. In Wisconsin alone the number registered by ACORN is over 30,000. These are largely unprecedented numbers and that is the real reason for the right wing attacks. After all we are not likely to find many conservatives among those newly registered voters. Any problems that may have developed in registering such a staggering number of new voters is an extremely small percentage of the total. The small amount of issues that have come up have turned out to be more of a workforce issue than anything else. It appears that some of the people hired to register voters decided to collect a check without actually doing the work, opting to fill out fake registration cards instead. Because of great quality control procedures, ACORN caught most of these cases, flagged the cards for local elections officials, and fired the bad employees. And for that they must endure baseless attacks and be the subject of wild right wing conspiracy theories?
In an editorial earlier this week, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel suspects that the right wing attacks on ACORN are not really about the integrity of the system. They go on to conclude, ‘If the past is prologue, much of this ballyhoo is really about those new voters and who they might vote for.’ While the right wing may be casting all kinds of dispersions and blowing all of the usual ‘voter fraud’ smoke, the fact remains that there is still very little substance to their wild claims. As we have learned many times before, once this election cycle closes, there will be very little hiding their partisan motives and their very bad intentions.