This past week, I committed voter fraud. Or, I should say, “voter fraud” inside the same sarcastic scare quotes that John McCain deployed when he recently invoked that old tricky word “health,” as in “health of the mother.
I didn’t even need to take my cues from ACORN. I’m kind of a voter-fraud cell of one, you might say.
Here’s how it went down.
Having moved to DC last year, I suddenly realized a week ago that I needed to register to vote at my new (disenfranchised) address by October 5th. So I dutifully printed out the form, filled it out and prepared to mail it. I happen to live in one of those pre-war apartment buildings that has a mail chute (side point: how great are mail chutes? why don’t all buildings have them?). As I went to the mail chute to deposit my registration I encounter a problem: the chute hole was too small for the large registration form. So, foolishly, I folded it in half and stuffed it in. Immediately, I realized I’d made a terrible mistake. The form got about a foot down before getting stuck. I went and got a coat hanger, attempting to fish it out, but, of course, as always happens in these situations, only succeeded in pushing it further down. I resigned in despair and gaped: There was my precious franchise, tantalizingly close, and yet so far. What to do?
Since it was only a few days before the registration deadline I had no choice. The next day I printed out another form and mailed it in, from a mailbox on Capitol Hill. But here’s where the serious, class A fraud comes in. That very same day, my excellent and competent building super had managed to get the mail chute unstuck, meaning there were now – gasp! – two identical registration forms speeding their way towards DC Board of Elections Headquarters. That’s right, a fraudulent registration with my name on it. Oh noes!
Ok, so obviously this is absurd. I had no intent to defraud the DC Board of Elections, and certainly no intent nor means of voting twice, which is the actual theoretical danger being invoked here.
The faux-outrage that Republicans have marshaled over alleged voter fraud is so transparently faked, so expertly cynical it’s almost surreal. When John McCain accused ACORN of being on the “verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history” Obama just broke down laughing. I was too. It was the only reasonable reaction.