McCain says ACORN “is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.” This, in short, is bullshit. The charge is that some of ACORN’s voting registrars made up fake names to get credit for more registrations. (This was done for money and not for ideological reasons.) We know this mostly because ACORN’s oversight mechanisms flagged the names as fake in the first fucking place. Any “fraud” here victimizes ACORN the employer. The “damage” does not extend to the “vote.” And how could it? There is no danger of fictitious persons actually casting any votes; if they could, they wouldn’t be fictitious and the registrations would be legitimate.
Far greater danger to “democracy”—at least, as McCain defines it—is not overt “fraud” but the kind built into the profit system and which works whether anyone really means it to. Poor counties have old machines, which lose votes, and fewer machines, which causes prohibitively longer waits in line. Of course the lost and uncast votes are mostly not for McCain’s party. (And there is plenty of real, deliberate voter fraud to fret over, but all that favors his party too.)