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Tuesday, October 31, 2006


NYT- 'A Silent Disenfranchisement ' of Voters?

-by Warner Todd Huston

The New York Times is sure that voters are losing their rights the country over, in essence yelling "the sky is falling, the sky is falling" for voters this year. They have been ballyhooing that voters are being "disenfranchised" all across the country by voting machines and voting law changes -- their biggest worry being ID requirements. The Times points in horror to the continuing effort of the States to nail down who is eligible and a proliferation of new laws assuring that eligibility before casting a ballot claiming this is proof of such "disenfranchisement". Ridiculously, the Times has decided proving you are eligible to vote is a threat to democracy.

Funny how they don't consider people who vote illegally as being any threat to democracy... of course that is because illegal voting benefits the Democrats, their favored party.

In an editorial titled Remember to Vote, Hope It Counts, the Times moans about these new requirements to present IDs at the polls in order to cast a ballot in states such as Ohio, Arizona, Indiana and others.

Michael Waldman, the executive director of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, has penned an opinion in today's Times without offering much by way of proof for his contentions. But, he is sure that it is the end of our rights! Well, maybe just the rights of Democrats... his only real concern.

The piece is so filled with assumptions, guesses and wild what-ifs that it boggles the mind. Of course, it is all some grand conspiracy as far as the good director is concerned. It couldn't just be that new conventions, practices and laws will have their glitches and might be in need of adjustment! Mr. Waldman expects perfection the first time out, apparently.

As primaries earlier this year demonstrated, local officials and poll workers are overwhelmed by all the changes -- some of them engineered by mischievous partisans who have passed laws and rules that would block many eligible citizens from voting.

I guess it also couldn't be that people are sick and tired of illegal voting, gerrymandered vote totals and dead people shuffling to the polls in their dusty burial clothes to cast that favored Democratic ballot? No, it MUST be a grand conspiracy of the eeeevil GOP to suppress those poor Democrat's votes.

But, wait. Mr. Waldman tips his hand showing us his real concern.

There is a silent disenfranchisement afoot -- one that could affect hundreds of thousands of voters. That’s bad for democracy. In the 2004 presidential election, some states were decided by less than 1 percent of the vote. This year, dozens of Congressional races could be close enough that vote suppression would affect them.

(Bolded emphasis mine)

Ah, there you have it. It never mattered that illegal votes were being cast in the past, but now that elections are being decided by such slim margins, Waldman wants his illegal votes protected!

Conjecture on my part, you say? No, not really.

Looking forward, Congress and state legislatures should spurn partisan attempts to manipulate elections by imposing new voting requirements, like proof of citizenship and identification.

And that isn't the only time he gnashes his teeth and rends his clothes over this terrible thought that it might be a good idea for voters to present some proof that they are eligible to vote in the first place.

In a graphic connected to the story, Waldman mentions ID requirements as a worry or an outright outrage several times. He claims that Ohio, Arizona, Indiana, Florida and many other states are somehow "disenfranchising" voters with this "partisan" mischief.

He also reveals a desire to take away more power from the states and institute overarching Federal voting laws in contravention to our American system.

Taken together, they show just how urgent it is that the country move toward a system of universal voter registration, in which the government takes responsibility to ensure that all citizens are on the rolls, with real protections.

Just another big government, liberal idea, there. Obviously Waldman hopes to have but one, national voting law for him to gerrymander instead of worrying about so many different laws in as many states that his folks have to keep track of in which to gerrymander the vote. Much easier to steal the votes, that-a way, eh Mr. Waldman!

His graphic is filled with fear mongering and guesswork, so much so that it is hard to take it seriously. Here are a few of them:

Under a proposed Ohio law, naturalized citizens who couldn't produce naturalization papers at the polls could not cast regular ballots -- just provisional ones, which are counted only in recounts. This would require these voters to carry documents that cost more than $200. A federal judge recently permanently blocked this discriminatory law.

Boo hoo. Seems to me that a naturalized citizen should take the responsibility to be sure he has all the records he needs to vote. But to Waldman, just showing up should be enough to vote. Who needs to be a legal voter? Who needs to prove anything? Obviously just wanting to vote should be enough. Vote early, vote often!

This year, Hoosiers can't vote unless they show state-issued photo ID's with expiration dates. But up to 10 percent of Americans lack drivers' licenses or accepted alternatives.

Again, shouldn't they take responsibility to be sure they meet requirements if they want their vote cast? Is having a photo ID so out of the question?

In South Dakota, Florida, North Carolina, Texas and other states this year, you can't vote unless your voter registration record precisely matches personal information on some other list -- say, of drivers' licenses. Typos and common glitches could keep up to 20 percent of registrants from voting.

"Could keep up to 20 percent" from voting? Where does that conjecture come from? Maybe it could keep only 2 percent from voting… maybe no percent? It’s easy to just say any old number, after all.

New laws impose harsh requirements on voter registration groups and expose them to criminal penalties for harmless mistakes, including errors in collecting forms.

And why does one think such a new requirement has been imposed? Because of Democrats' decades old penchant of rounding up felons, the un-registered, mental patients and long lists of dead people to fill out voters rolls, that's why. And people are sick of it, Mr. Waldman. And, what, exactly, is wrong with trying to make sure voter registrations are legal and above board, anyway?

Since last year, Arizona has required voters to bring a birth certificate or passport to register, and then to bring a different set of government documents to vote. ... no doubt thousands more will be turned away on Election Day

"No doubt thousands more will be turned away"? Pure conjecture and a conjecture based on biased assumptions.

There is no doubt that we have many troubles with our systems of voting. But Waldman's ideas of just forgetting about trying to tighten requirements and to solidify registrations rolls and to allow just any one to cast a ballot whether they can legally do so or not is merely a recipe to continue allowing the kind of Democrat vote fraud that has been going on for decades.

But, then again, that would be his ultimate goal. Looser requirements, no checking for legal votes, and rampant neglect of the law would assist vote fraud far more than otherwise. And obviously the New York Times agrees with Waldman.

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