Home » Analysis » The War Against Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrars

The War Against Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrars

Battleground Texas is in the news as the latest victim of something I call the “ACORN slander,” once again being perpetrated by the right-wing hatchet man, convicted con artist, and all-around sleaze purveyor  James O’Keefe.

Extreme right-wingers disapprove of expanded voter registration efforts, and so have worked to criminalize things like the collection of contact information from new registrants. To some extent, being targeted by O’Keefe is a kind of badge of honor, demonstrating that the extreme right really are worried. Unfortunately, moral vindication is a poor salve for the victims of Mr. O’Keefe’s scams.



  1. We just don’t want dead people, felons and illegal aliens to vote, or for people to be able to vote multiple times. That’s in reality what leftists mean by “expanded voter registration efforts.” LOL

    • Of course, appeals to law and order are emotionally satisfying. After all, nobody wants illegal voting. The problem with this argument is that (1) it perpetuates the insinuation that voter registration necessarily means illegal voter registration, and (2) it conflates illegal registration with illegal voting.

      Assume for the sake of argument that dead people [or more accurately, living people who have appropriated the identities of dead people], felons and illegal aliens are registered to vote. Now imagine the gauntlet that these individuals must run in order to actually cast a ballot in an election. If voting in person, the individuals would be compelled to publicly identify themselves in the presence of witnesses, sign a signature list, and be memorialized in a paper trail that anyone could follow. The risk of capture is so extreme that only the most obtuse or desperate criminals would actually undertake such a venture, and any consequences to the election would be subject to judicial review and correction.

      In general, do criminals relish the opportunity to fill out paperwork that identifies them? Do muggers, bank robbers, or drug dealers spend their time providing their residence addresses, names, dates of birth, social security numbers, and drivers licenses as a first step before launching their criminal enterprises?

      And don’t criminals generally hope to actually succeed at their criminal schemes? I mean, an individual setting out to cast an illegal vote is a little bit like a bank robber setting out to steal a roll of pennies from a sealed vault. I suppose such a person might exist (the bank robber or thief who thinks, “Yeah. If I and several thousand other like-minded criminals all steal a dollar each, then the bank will really be hurting”), but such a naive criminal rarely gets very far before being caught.

      Criminals usually want to accomplish specific, achievable goals, for as little risk as possible.

      In the future, when you are attempting to imagine or describe scenarios in which the democratic process is threatened by electoral fraud, please exercise a little common sense to avoid such silly, childish, or paranoid conclusions. In the real world, people who actually attempt to steal elections aim a little higher than attempting to engage in penny-ante subversion of the voter registration process.

  2. Law and order makes sense. An appeal to law and order is a rhetorical device, and is not the same thing as actual law and order.

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