Earlier today, I went on at great length (who, me?) about how I see ACORN (The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now!) has gotten to the point where they have created an engine for generating massive amounts of fraudulent voter registrations. I addressed two of my three declared goals, then realized that I really should stop and take a breath or two (metaphorically speaking -- I'm writing this after pausing about a minute after finishing the first part) before concluding.
So, ACORN has turned in all these bogus voter registrations. In one noted case, they turned in over 5,000 registrations in Lake County, Indiana. Officials started verifying them, then quit after checking 2,100 of them -- and could not find a single valid one among them.
Some people wonder at what the big deal is. Let's take that Lake County, Indiana example. Let's say that those 2,100 rejected registrations were part of some grand conspiracy to
screw skew the vote, and the other 2,900 were all valid registration forms. That would mean that the same people who filed those registrations had 2,100 people ready to show up at the polls on election day and cast their vote (presumably for Obama).
That, obviously, is absurd.
But could the goal be something else? Another attempt at something less flagrant?
Here's an alternate theory. Mixed in among all the red herrings (Mickey Mouse, Ronald McDonald, Tony Romo) are enough less obvious fake names -- but ones chosen to be a bit more memorable to those ready to step up on election day and use it.
For me, I'd use "Joe Tormolen." It's an utterly unremarkable name, but it's memorable for me because it has the same initials as my own name. Also, it's the name of a character from a classic "Star Trek" episode -- he was the guy who first got infected and then died in "The Naked Time." I used that name when I needed a protagonist for my stories about the fictional USS Manchester.
So all I'd have to do would be to arrange for "Joe Tormolen" to be registered in several voting districts around the area, take the day off from work (presuming that I, working for ACORN, actually had a job apart from them), and go cast all the ballots I could. All I'd need would be a list of the addresses "Joe" was registered from, because in many states the Democrats have made it almost a felony to ask a voter for any form of ID at the polls.
With the right planning and a full tank of gas, I could probably cast a hundred votes alone.
But what's 100 votes, even here in New Hampshire? Is that really that big a deal?
Yes. As far as I'm concerned, even a single fraudulent vote is one too many. Because every person who votes more than once cancels out the vote of another person, effectively depriving them of their right to vote. And worse, they might not even know that they have been denied their right.
Again, that requires a bit of a conspiracy, and I don't like conspiracies. So how about a few alternatives that don't require so much work?
Well, how about setting up grounds for discounting the electoral results? Salting the mine, as it were?
Here's how it could play out:
Come election day, and McCain wins. Folks start looking at certain cities and counties where Obama either lost, or didn't win by the margin they expected. They start looking, and they see that voter turnout -- as a percentage of registered voters -- is considerably lower than they expected, too. Why, that is tantamount to PROOF that the eeeevil, racist Rethuglicans succeeded in their diabolical plans to oppress the poor and minorities and the oppressed stayed away from the polls, instead of exercising their Constitutional right to vote!
But it isn't.
You know the saying "figures don't lie, but liars can figure?" That's what would be happening here. The percentage of registered voters turning out would be thrown off because those registered voters would include all those bogus ones made up by ACORN. In the Lake County, Indiana, example, that was 5,000 registrations.
Lake County has about 484,000 people. Let's say that 150,000 of them are registered voters. (The first source I could find indicates that is a pretty good approximation -- and notes that in the last voter record cleansing, almost half of the names were removed. I've fudged it up slightly to make my math simpler.) Come election day, thanks to ACORN's 5,000 bogus registrations, we've pretty much guaranteed that a full 3% of registered voters won't show up -- because they don't exist. That is pretty much all the evidence some people will need to "prove" that somehow the bloody peasants of Lake County were being oppressed by the inherent violence in the system.
Subtle? Yes. Too subtle? I think not.
But there's something even far more important here, something far more fundamental than some grand conspiracies for stealing the election:
These people are assing around with our electoral process.
That is something that can never, ever, EVER be tolerated.
ACORN has, as I noted earlier, has not just engaged in massive voter registration fraud. It has built its entire voter registration engine around tolerating and even rewarding registration fraud. By my perceptions, it fits the definition of a "corrupt organization" under RICO perfectly: two or more examples of covered offenses as part of a pattern of offenses. In this case, fraud -- the solicitation, collection, and submission of forged and fraudulent voter registration forms.
Whether or not the prosecutions will be carried out are uncertain. At this moment, Barack Obama is the favored candidate to be elected president. And Obama's ties with ACORN go back a long time -- he represented them in court, held training sessions for them, ACORN's political wing (which always puts me in mind of various terrorist groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Irish Republican Army, which always maintained the polite fiction that they had their terrorist "militant wings" and their not-so-terrorist "political wings" that were entirely separate, nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more) has endorsed Obama, and his campaign gave an ACORN subsidiary $800,000 for "get out the vote" activities. So it's a good chance that ACORN will have a friend in the White House -- who will be naming the top people in the Justice Department.
On the other hand, Obama has shown repeatedly that he's not overly loyal to folks once they turn out to be perceived liabilities. I hate using the phrase that has become such a cliche', but the highway behind the Obama campaign bus is littered with all the people Obama has tossed under it already. And he's already laying the groundwork -- he's said that ACORN plays no role in his campaign, that he doesn't need them to win, and is regularly rewriting his "fight the smears" web site to maintain the maximum distance from ACORN that he can as more and more details come to light.
As I said earlier, ACORN has some very nice, very lofty goals and ideals. But that is utterly irrelevant. What they are doing utterly trumps whatever they say they want to do.
And what they are doing runs the risk of inflicting grave damage on the American electoral system. For that, they must be stopped. And, if necessary, destroyed.