The silliest part about the claim that ACORN is secretly trying to steal the 2008 election, other than the claim itself, is the idea that the large number of fraudulent forms submitted in Indiana would never have been turned in otherwise. But, as Adam Doster points out, ACORN is required by law to turn in all registrations, no matter how suspect. ACORN flags the ones that seem problematic to help state officials discern fraudulent registrations from real ones. CNN did not note that the law in fact, requires ACORN to submit voter registrations, even if they're filled out with names like Santa Claus or Mickey Mouse. In my last post, I suggested that the bad forms were turned in deliberately -- this is indeed the case. They were turned in deliberately because the law compels ACORN to do so.

Moreover, as a commenter pointed out on the last thread, Indiana has one of the most restrictive voter ID laws in the country. Namely, voters in Indiana have to submit a government issued photo ID in order to vote. Try getting a government issued photo ID for your potted plant or puppy. It won't happen. This is the difference between voter fraud and registration fraud. The Right has an interest in conflating the two in order to create anxiety about voter fraud and restrict access to the polls for likely Democratic voters, but the media should not be complicit in mixing the two together. As I've said before, registration fraud is common; voter fraud is practically nonexistent.

The more I learn about the crackdown on ACORN, the more I suspect partisan motivations. How can the government accuse ACORN of deliberately turning in bad forms if the law forces ACORN to turn in all of the ones they collect, no matter how fraudulent they are on their face?

Update: I want to add one more thing for those who are still suspicious of the reason behind the law forcing ACORN to turn in registration forms that appear to be fraudulent. One of the more obvious reasons is that if voter registration groups could decide which forms to turn in, a liberal group like ACORN could simply throw away GOP registration forms and claim they were fraudulent. The law is in place, at least partially, to make sure things like that don't happen.

--A. Serwer

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