"Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything." Communist Tyrant Josef Stalin
Same Day Registration - Another Disaster
March 17, 2000 NA (Network America) e-wire
Same Day Registration - Another Disaster
On Crossfire on March 16th, I was surprised to hear one of my political heros, Pat Buchanan, say that he now favored same day registration.
An informed reader had emailed me a week or two ago that this was the case, but I had responded that I didn't think it was the case, but that Pat had said he was only considering this goal of New York Reform party activist, and still self-proclaimed Marxist, Lenora Fulani - who is also a co-chair of the Buchanan Reform campaign.
Tonight I learned for sure that the e-mailer was on top of the situation.
I hope that Pat will gather further information, including perhaps this email if someone can forward it to him, and re-think this position.
Here are the relevant considerations regarding same day registration:
1) Same day registration makes it impossible for poll workers and the local Board of Elections to determine whether the person really has the right to vote in that precinct. The rule in California , for instance, as revealed in a Nov. 12 article in the Los Angeles Times, following the Dornan-Sanchez disputed election of 1996, is that election workers MUST believe anyone who walks up and says that he or she has the right to vote in that polling place. Even though Dornan proved that more illegal aliens voted in that election than the margin he lost by, Sanchez-Bixley's "victory" was allowed to stand.
2) Same day registration makes it easy for voters to vote in more than one location. If the election personnel can't dispute the voter's claim that he has the right to vote there, then election workers at ten polling places can't dispute that person's right to vote at each of the ten polling places. And after the election, it's too late to correct such fraud. First of all, it would take millions of dollars just to track it down in even one Congressional district - and even then you couldn't prove for sure how the offenders had voted, thus warping the election forever. And when's the last time you heard of anyone being prosecuted for voting at multiple locations? There's not even an attempt to track such fraud down. Election officials, in my experience, aren't overly concerned about any type of ballot security issue - unless it's keeping the ballots secure from the prying eyes of any citizens who might be alert enough to want some checks and balances observed.
3) A voter who doesn't care enough to register in the precinct where they live at least 30 days in advance, doesn't care enough to vote. There is no reason in the world to go to super human lengths to interest such a person in voting at that time of his or her life. No obstacle should be put in anyone's path, of course - but when one has 330 days out of the year to register before each general election - and isn't interested enough to do so - well, what more can you say?
4) By making it the rule that voters must register 30 days in advance, it allows the Board of Elections to mail a registration card to the address of the purported voter to see if he or she really lives there. If the card comes back "undeliverable" - then the Board of Elections knows that the registrant does not have the right to vote in that precinct, and his name will not appear on the "eligible voters" roll in that precinct on election day. If the card does not come back, thus proving that the post office was able to deliver it, then the Board of Elections can send a notification to the Board of Elections in the voter's former precinct, so that they can remove that person's name from the 'eligible voters' list in that precinct. If the person moves in the last 30 days before an election, then they can still vote in their old residence for up to 30 days after the move. If the person has moved to another state, and cannot make it back to their home precinct, then they simply must wait for the next cycle to vote under our ideal scenario.
This "ideal scenario" assumes that absentee voting is also outlawed. As explained elsewhere, we are totally at the mercy of government officials with regard to absentee ballots - and the abuses in this area are legendary (new readers can go to www.clean.org to see an amazing slide show about this subject - and we will keep the readers of this e-wire informed as that case develops.
This would mean that people who were too sick or out of town would not be able to vote by absentee ballot, -- but the right to vote of this segment of society must be overruled in this case by the necessity to guard the entire community's right to a verifiable election - which could be had with paper ballots counted at the precinct by the neighborhood citizens, in public and by all factions --- with the precinct results posted for all to see BEFORE the ballots leave the precinct. . Incidentally, men in the military could vote, -- but at military polling places set up wherever military personnel were, using the same counting procedures as outlined above.)
That's the rationale against same day registration - and for requiring citizens to register in the precinct where they live at least 30 days in advance of the election or primary.
If anyone has any addendums, clarifications, or counter-arguments --please let us know at email@example.com . . . More tomorrow.
Jim Condit Jr.
Director, Citizens for a Fair Vote Count
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