Monday, May 12, 2008

Missouri Considers Requireing Proof of Citizenship to Register

There are many good reasons to oppose voter ID laws. One is the sense that the advocates for such laws are less interested in responding to real concerns about voter fraud and more interested in throwing up a thousand tiny barriers to discourage voting. So this report from NYTimes is distressing:

    The battle over voting rights will expand this week as lawmakers in Missouri are expected to support a proposed constitutional amendment to enable election officials to require proof of citizenship from anyone registering to vote.

    The measure would allow far more rigorous demands than the voter ID requirement recently upheld by the Supreme Court, in which voters had to prove their identity with a government-issued card.

    Sponsors of the amendment — which requires the approval of voters to go into effect, possibly in an August referendum — say it is part of an effort to prevent illegal immigrants from affecting the political process. Critics say the measure could lead to the disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of legal residents who would find it difficult to prove their citizenship.
And yes, I still need to write the promised break-down of Crawford v. Marion County. Now there is another consideration to add in the mix.


Anonymous said...

Whoa! Red flag!

"Critics say the measure could lead to the disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of legal residents who would find it difficult to prove their citizenship."

The sentence SHOULD say "tens of thousands of legal CITIZENS who would find it difficult to prove their citizenship."

Just the wording of the original sentence sounds as though people are trying to game the system.

During the 2004 campaign season, when I lived in Oberlin, I know, KNOW, that Democrat activists attempted to register a few foreign students attending Oberlin College to vote. The canvassers were getting paid according to the number of completed registration cards, so of course there wasn't an incentive to refrain from completing a card for anyone they came into contact with, whether they were ineligible to vote or already registered to vote, or whatever the case may be.

The hypocrisy of the Democrats is that while they harp on the need to get the ultimate fail-safe voting machine to make sure the elections aren't "stolen" (when the equipment we have now can tabulate votes flawlessly so long as election workers adhere to wisely devised procedures, which I guess is a problem for election workers in Cuyahoga County, but not in the other 87 counties) is that the greatest threat to the integrity of our elections is fraud consciously perpetrated by ill-intentioned individuals who come to the polls, not the voting machines themselves.

Is it fair to have a person casting more than one vote? Is it fair to have a person casting a vote who isn't a citizen? People involved in these kinds of fraudulent activities could be negating your vote.

Bi-partisan county Boards of Election across the state had flagged individuals suspected of voter fraud during the 2004 general election. Ken Blackwell did the politically expedient thing of directing that prosecutions not go forward, because of the hue and cry from people like Bob Fitrakis who would have denounced such prosecutions as a blatant attempt to steal elections and as an outrageous attempt to broadcast fear of prosecution to legitimate voters in the interest of intimidating voters in future elections to suppress the vote in widespread fashion. The message of those who would raise the hue and cry would be absurd, but they'd raise the hue and cry anyway. I thought the prosecutions should have gone forward, considering the fact that when two Democrats and two Republicans on a county Board of Elections unanimously agree that an individual attempted to commit or did commit voter fraud, they are probably right.

Keep in mind that Missouri is a bellwether swing state, not some fortress of Republican right-wing wackos, so just the fact that Missouri is putting this measure on the ballot is significant, and suggests that this is not a product of some fringe movement.

Ben said...

I have no problem with the Indiana law whatsoever. I would be interested to hear why you feel people should not have to prove they are legal voters in order to cast their ballot.

Mencken said...

How do you prove you are a legal voter?

A driver's license only goes so far.
My birth certificate is a photocopy... easily forged.
Are we going to have to carry a passport and other documents to vote? That should really speed things up at the polls. Fingerprinting? Retina scans?

What do you have in mind?

Ben said...

Is that directed at me or at the author of the post

Mencken said...

Makes no nevermind to me who answers.

Mencken said...

So where are the defenders of the faith?