Drudge's Mickey Mouse Reporting

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

Matt Drudge is hyping a report that Orange County, Florida rejected a voter registration form filled out in the name of "Mickey Mouse":

Drudge Mickey Mouse

Drudge's sensationalist headlines aside, this isn't evidence of a problem with ACORN; it is evidence of the system working. Elections officials rejected an apparently illegitimate registration form.

Drudge suggests ACORN did something wrong in submitting the registration form in the first place. But ACORN shouldn't be in the position of deciding which registrations are legitimate and which are not; that's why we have elections officials. There are two clear problems with placing that burden on a private organization.

First, private organizations shouldn't make decisions about which forms are submitted because there would be too much potential for wrongdoing in such a scenario - an organization shredding voter registration forms for people attempting to register in the "wrong" party, for example.

Second, it may seem obvious that some forms are illegitimate. That's Drudge's point here - Hahahaha, they tried to register Mickey Mouse! Fools! But here's the thing: there are 32 people named "Mickey Mouse" listed in the White Pages nationwide, including two in Florida:

32 Mickey Mouses in the White Pages

Now, that doesn't mean the registration form in question was legitimate. It probably wasn't. After all, elections officials tossed it. (Which, again, means that the system worked, and no illegal ballot was cast.)

What it does show is that in a nation of 300 million people, there are a lot of names. Some of them might seem funny to Matt Drudge. Some of them might seem obviously fake to Matt Drudge. That doesn't mean they are. That's why election officials, not ACORN or Matt Drudge, should make that determination.

UPDATE: On MSNBC, NBC deputy political director Mark Murray just referred to "Harry Potter" and "Han Solo" as other obviously fake names. There are 77 Harry Potters in the White Pages. No Han Solos, but there is a Hans Solo. And 8 Luke Skywalkers. This is really simple: You cannot tell that a voter registration form is illegitimate based solely on the name.

Posted In
Elections, Voting Rights & Issues
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