Our friend Andrew Malcolm, over at Investors Business Daily, highlights an interesting story coming to us from Washington, but involving the Sunshine State. It seems that Florida’s recent efforts to conduct a thorough review of their voter rolls and purge the ineligible or the … er… dead, have drawn the Attorney General. And what might the Department of Justice have to say about this record-keeping audit? Clearly, this has to be stopped.
Washington has ordered Florida to end its effort to remove ineligible voters from the state’s voter rolls. This is breathtaking. It couldn’t be clearer that the government is actively promoting voter fraud.
Somehow, the DOJ has determined that purging illegal voters — felons, noncitizens, the deceased — from the rolls is a violation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act as well as the 1993 National Voter Registration Act. According to the Miami Herald, the department’s lead civil rights attorney, T. Christian Herren Jr., sent the state “a detailed two-page letter” on Thursday demanding that Florida’s elections division shut down its pursuit.
So… it’s a violation of the Voting RIGHTS Act to make sure that everyone voting is actually eligible and has the RIGHT to vote, eh? But if Florida is running around purging a bunch of eligible people from the rolls and depriving them of their fundamental rights, I can understand how Eric Holder would feel the need to intervene. So, Andrew, how many people are being purged from the rolls thus far?
What’s missing from Herren’s complaint is the fact that no one is actually moved off the rolls until they are found to be ineligible. Simply sending names to county elections supervisors to confirm eligibility, which is what Florida officials are doing, discriminates against no one. Either the person is eligible to vote or not.
No one is harassed or summarily tossed off the voter rolls. There is no poll tax or literacy test.
Groups on the left could find “discrimination” on Mars. So of course they declare that Florida’s attempt to certify the integrity of its voter rosters is discriminatory. They lament that requiring the voters in question to prove they are eligible is a burden on voters rather than on government.
Florida has responded, saying they’ll answer Washington in the coming week.
I had pretty much the same discussion with a liberal correspondent on Twitter this weekend and I always find it frustrating. Believe it or not, I understand some of the concerns and fears expressed by people objecting to both voter ID and a review of voter rolls. It’s far too easy for government at any level to attempt to “fix” a problem and wind up making it worse through incompetence or overreach. I would hope that nobody wants to see a Poll Tax imposed on voters or revoke the voting rights of those eligible to participate. But at the same time, could we not all agree that if someone casts a fraudulent vote a crime has been committed? And does the government not have the authority – and obligation – to prevent the commission of said crime? These are the answers I can never seem to get from people crying about Republican efforts to “suppress the vote” or “keep minorities from the polls.”
One last point is that this discussion in Florida highlights a key issue which the various states and the nation will have to address sooner or later. We do a fairly good job of recording citizens who are born, when they enter the work force and where they live. (At least every ten years.) What we don’t seem to have any mechanism for, however, is recording when they die. I’m not sure how we tackle that or how such a process would be viewed in terms of constitutional law. But I’m open to suggestions.