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Supreme Court saves the day

Right About Now

Posted: May 9, 2008 5:53 p.m.
Updated: July 10, 2008 5:02 a.m.
What a great country this is! Just when it appears that the politically correct leftists are about to exchange our hard-fought American democracy for Third World socialism, the U.S. Supreme Court steps up to save the day.

On April 28, by a 6-3 vote, the nation's highest court upheld the constitutionality of Indiana's law requiring voters to show personal identification when voting at the polls. This Indiana edict was created as a safeguard against potential voter fraud.

The Supreme Court decision, if obeyed and enforced, ensures the very integrity of our unique system of political elections. Justices Stevens, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Scalia and Alito formed a rare coalition of conservative, moderate, and liberal Supreme Court justices in support of the Indiana voter ID law.

Although Democrats claimed the requirements created a hardship for some voters, common sense prevailed because the plaintiffs could not even identify a single voter who had been prevented from voting. Justice John Paul Stevens said, "... the inconvenience of gathering the required documents and posing for a photograph surely does not qualify as a substantial burden."

Well, yeah, there should be some verification of who is voting. If you buy tobacco or liquor, or apply for a credit card, you need a photo ID. America in 2008 is not the same as America in 1950. There are between 12 million and 20 million illegal aliens living here.

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993, also known as the Motor-Voter Law, was the first piece of legislation signed into law by President Clinton upon entering into office. This legislation was essentially intended to increase the number of eligible voters by allowing them to register when they applied for or renewed their drivers' licenses. Simply check a box and you are registered.

The Motor-Voter Law declares, "... each state motor vehicle driver's license application (including renewal application) submitted to the appropriate state motor vehicle authority under state law shall serve as an application for voter registration with respect to elections for federal office unless the applicant fails to sign the voter registration application."

Consequently, under this federal law, citizens, non-citizens and illegal aliens alike are all automatically registered to vote when they apply for drivers' licenses. Fraud-friendly rules allow mail-in registration with no identification needed, and government workers are, in fact, forbidden to challenge new registrants.

The Motor-Voter Law further states that anyone who "... knowingly and willfully intimidates, threatens, or coerces, or attempts to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for registering to vote, or voting, or attempting to register or vote" violates federal law.

Who knows how many illegal and ineligible voters have taken advantage of this law? How can anyone actually be caught for voting fraudulently if that person cannot be asked to show identification?

We could chalk it up to another Catch 22-type government snafu, but 15 years of abuse has produced unknown catastrophic consequences to our elections. According to the Florida Secretary of State's office, between 1994 and 1998, the number of Hispanic voters jumped 557 percent, with the number in Palm Beach County jumping 7,220 percent during the same period. In 2004 the New York Daily News reported that 46,000 New York City voters were also registered to vote in Florida.

Many voted by mail in both states. The "don't ask, don't tell" policy applies; and thereby, cheating is encouraged since no one can legally be contested. The Motor-Voter Law obliges election officials to accept mailed-in names as long as the form is completed properly. Once officially registered, these new voters can then request an absentee ballot, all done by mail.

If the voting registration process is ridiculous, then the sign-in procedure on Election Day is equally silly. Only 14 states request official identification of any kind, and only a handful of those require a photo ID. In the other 36 states anyone can walk in and claim to be a registered voter in a particular precinct, and subsequently proceed to vote.

State registrars across the country are constantly being challenged because of the mobility of voters. Most states will not forward ballots, and they cannot afford to track voters who move within or without of the state. The Indianapolis Star discovered that hundreds of thousands of names were incorrectly listed because the voters had moved, died or gone to prison. The mailing cost to the Indiana Election Division would be about twice the amount of its entire annual budget if it were to correct the discrepancies.

Another curious aspect of the Motor-Voter Law is the fact that it provides voter registration to any recipient of government benefits, such as welfare. Let's see, a person needs simply to fill out a form, check a box saying he is a citizen, and he becomes registered to vote.

In most states he does not even have to show ID when he shows up at the polls to vote. Of course, he can bypass that by applying for an absentee ballot, which harbors the easiest path to voter fraud. Why show up at the polling place? So it takes the Supreme Court to save the American public from the shenanigans of our own legislators.

The Democrats who passed this Motor-Voter Law in 1993 have obviously reaped the rewards of their handiwork. This law was enacted to "protect the disenfranchised," and now it is disenfranchising our nation. How dare our elected officials capriciously toss the right to vote around as so much political fodder, and trivialize the foundation of our democracy! This is a presidential election year.

We need to repeal the Motor-Voter Law ... right about now.

Paul B. Strickland Sr. is a resident of Santa Clarita . "Right About Now" rotates among local Republican writers. His column reflects his own views, not necessarily those of the The Signal.


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