True The Vote-Guardian At The Gate Of Voter Integrity

When I was in high school I had a curfew of 11:30pm on the weekends. I was grounded a day for every five minutes I was late. It’s sounds harsh, I mean, what’s 10 minutes, right? But what my Dad knew is that if he allowed me to get away with five minutes, the next time would be 10 or 15 minutes, and I would say, “Hey, I didn’t get in trouble before, and I was only five minutes more late.” My Dad understood the importance of a set set of rules. I can promise you, I obeyed them.

This is what is behind True the Vote. If we disobey the rules of voter integrity, even just a little, then our integrity is compromised and it leads to further violations. I attended the True the Vote Summit this past weekend in Houston (32 states now represented). There have been many false articles written about True the Vote, which is an organization started by The King Street Patriots, to ensure voter integrity in our elections (Here is True the Vote responding to one of them). It is, contrary to what you might have heard, bi-partisan. Because both sides have accused the other in election fraud though out the ages, ensuring voter integrity benefits both sides (Two Democrats spoke at the event). You just have to wonder though, why only one side (the Democrat side) is the only one who rails against it. They make up falsehoods about racism and suppressing minority vote, and try to make that the narrative, but it’s false. In states where Voter ID has been implemented it has not suppressed the minority vote in any way. In fact, you might be surprise to learn that minorities themselves favor Voter ID. All reasonable people who are not trying to use it as a political and/or race football, do.

Many speakers at the True The Vote Summit this weekend came from many parts of the country to explain their experiences with voter fraud. For example, in Minnesota they have same day registration, where you can register to vote and vote at the same time. But, what many didn’t realize was that if you register, they send a card to your address. If the card comes back as undeliverable, then your taken off the rolls. Only problem is in the process the votes for THAT election are counted anyway. They just don’t get put on the rolls for the next election. In a recent election 38,000 cards came back. 23,000 of those were from same day registration. That number can easily turn an election. In Mississippi there are double the number of voters on the rolls than there are actual residents. Dead people staying on voter rolls is pretty common. In one “sting” operation, James O’Keefe asked for the ballots of 20 dead people, and got them, except in one instant, and that was where the poll worker had known the dead person. O’Keefe also did a sting in New Hampshire where he registered to vote “Timothy Tewbow” and “Thomas Brady.” He obtained voter registration for friends he said couldn’t make it to register. This is thing about voter fraud. The person who actually does vote in a dead person’s name? He vanishes like a (and excuse the analogy) ghost. There is simply no way to find or prove who voted. It truly is the perfect crime. And who exactly is going to report that the person who voted is actually dead? The dead don’t check, and you can count on the fact that they won’t show up to vote to find out someone has already voted in their name.

But here is the shocker for those who talk so badly about Catherine Engelbrecht of True The Vote. Do you know what she said at the end of the conference? She said, “Voter fraud is rare.” That’s right. You read that right. It is rare. But even a little bit of voter fraud can turn an election. It can make a person win that didn’t deserve to win. It can make a person win that the people did not elect. As we saw in Bush vs. Gore, a Presidential election, even a few hundred votes make a difference. So voter fraud, even a little, diminishes the very foundation of our freedom. It makes none of our votes count.

New Hampshire passed Voter ID after after O’Keefe’s sting went on the local news. Our Justice Department is blocking Texas Voter ID, that was passed by the people of Texas, because our Attorney General Eric Holder believes the false notion that it suppresses minority voting, and is not neccessary. Yet James O’Keefe went to D.C. and asked for Eric Holder’s ballot in a primary there….,.and was handed it. James could have voted as Holder, but didn’t to avoid prosecution. But it proved how easy it is to obtain ballots and registration without an I.D.

I, for one, think it is insulting to minorities to imply that they can’t figure out how to get an I.D. if they don’t have a driver’s license. I also think it is insulting when any politician or pundit refers to simply showing an I.D. as “Jim Crow” laws come to life again. As one who lived through the Jim Crow laws, I find it is a slap in the face of all the good men and women who fought against Jim Crow laws. Every Voter law that is passed or is trying to be passed, has gone out of it’s way to make sure all the poor and/or those without driver’s license can easily obtain an voter I.D. The laws make them free. What else can one do to make this more fair??

No one and no party should be against ensuring the integrity and sacred nature of our vote. Spreading false narratives of racism is particularly galling. In 2010, a Rasmussen poll of likely voters showed overwhelming support (82 percent) for requiring photo ID in order to vote in elections. This support ran across ethnic and racial lines.

Catherine Engelbrecht was not a politician. She was just a normal person like you and I. What she has had to endure to simply want to protect voter integrity is appalling to me. She has been called names, gotten threats, and endured lies written about her. A brave soul.

If voter integrity means a great deal to you, then join True The Vote and become a poll watcher. If we lose this precious right to fraud, in any way, then we have lost our very freedom.

Lastly, I want to talk about the Military Voter Protection Project. Sadly, because of the nature of our military men and women’s travel, they face significant challenges when it comes to voting. In 2008, for example, less than 30% of military voted. Over 100,000 absentee military ballots were lost in the mail. This is unacceptable. The very people who fight for our freedom to vote, should be able to know their own votes count. For more information go to MVPProject.org

Just an aside, which I’ve published before. It’s ironic that liberal groups who oppose Voter I.D. require I.D. to get into their offices. I guess they are racist, right?

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Author: KATHLEEN MCKINLEY, Guest Voice Columnist

  • http://www.deanesmay.com DEAN ESMAY, Guest Voice Columnist

    Bravo. I must agree.

    Democratic intransigence on this issue has always looked suspicious to me. Black people can’t get driver’s licenses or photo ID? Are you kidding me?

    There is a good point to be made that there really are pockets of the country where people really are too poor to afford that. Fine. You already said what the answer was: make it free.

    Hell, Democrats actually got their way on Motor Voter over Republican opposition (anyone remember that?). The idea of Motor Voter is to ensure that it’s easy for people to get registered to vote. How much harder is it to say “OK, now, if you can’t get a license for some reason, here’s a free alternative?”

    For goodness sakes, you need a driver’s license to do all sorts of things more trivial than voting.

    And we KNOW election fraud happens, and we KNOW both parties have been guilty of it in the past. How anyone who spent the years after the 2000 election screaming about the integrity of vote counting can oppose a simple ID requirement for voting is beyond me.

    This is so simple: provide driver’s license or other photo ID. If you’re poor and can’t afford either one, make an easy way to get a free alternative. There. Problem solved.

  • The_Ohioan

    Voter fraud is when someone uses a false ID to vote. Vote miscounting or non-counting is another type of fraud. There were thousands of ballots not counted nor even looked at for hanging chad.

    The King Street Patriots is a Tea Party group which is helping the True Vote cause. Here’s a sample from their website.

    “Join us as we welcome Katie Pavlich, editor of Town Hall magazine and author of NYT Bestseller “Fast and Furious” to talk about Barack Obama and Eric Holder’s deadly plan to dismantle the Second Amendment. Then, join your fellow patriots as we review and discuss the 2012 True the Vote National Summit. More details to come.”

    Ms McKinley would do well to read the account of how maybe up to 1 million black votes were not “True Votes” in 2000

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/06/20/ING2976LG61.DTL

  • zippee

    I think True the Vote is truly about getting Republicans elected over Democrats. Because registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in so many states.

    Voter ID doesn’t do one damn thing to prevent fraud because A) it’s easy to get a fake ID, and B) even if it wasn’t easy to get one, the problem is our antiquated, 19th century voter rolls.

    Which ID does nothing – surprise – to fix.

    What voter ID DOES do is inconvenience people into not voting at all.

  • dduck

    I’ll go further and say we should have a Universal ID and/or a universal driver’s license with a bar code and a magnetic stripe.
    Further, voting should be done on ATM style machines and have a photo taken in addition.

    Mandatory voting in major elections would also be nice.

    None of these should have a cost to the citizen that would inhibit voting.

  • zephyr

    Funny how so many people continue to believe voter fraud is a bigger problem than voter suppression. Great way to stir up the rubes though.

  • rudi

    Funny how no one at TownHall or this group ever experienced Jim Crow fountains or Poll Tax or lychings…

  • bookworm914

    Many causes have people at the core, outside of politics, who genuinely believe they are working for the common good. Many causes have, at their core, genuinely good ideas. Ms. McKinley makes compelling arguments as to the need for changing voter registration procedures, and I am reasonably convinced. I abstain from the question of partisanship in this particular organization that she touts.
    That does not mean that the political implementation of these laws is being done for the common good; it does not disprove the allegation that these laws are implemented as an attempt to suppress votes. As my only cited example, in Wisconsin, where free voter IDs were made available as part of the ID law, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mary-bottari/wisconsin-voter-id-_b_954976.html documents that a (some) state officer(s) issued a memo instructing state workers to offer the ID for free only if the free one is requested, and otherwise to charge $28. Any claim that this is not part of an effort to keep the ‘free’ ID a secret, and thus charge a poll tax, doesn’t pass the laugh test.
    While I’m sure there are groups and laws that fit Ms McKinley’s narrative, and I am now convinced that there should be more of those, there are also partisans trying to use these laws to suppress votes.

  • RP

    If I have to show a picture ID to travel outside the US, show a picture ID to buy Over-the-counter allergy medicine, show a picture ID to cash a check and most of all, show a picture ID to use a credit card at the local day old bread outlet, then I sure don’t see why it is such and incovenience to show one to vote.

    And if you can get out to vote, then you can get down to the local DMV for some kid of legal picture ID.

  • Rcoutme

    I don’t have to show a picture ID to buy OTC meds or use a credit card. Meanwhile, although I agree that we need to have integrity in our voting process, I do question the implementation. I will grant the author that if a state offers a picture ID along with the voter requirement that that is not an undue burden. I am not sure it will make it harder to vote for non-existent or dead voters, but at least it would be a start.

    However: it seems that such well-meaning individuals should be more appalled at the voter suppression done in Ohio in 2004. The wait in the larger cities approached 3 hours, versus the wait in the rural and suburban areas of about 2 minutes.

    I seriously doubt that the wait in the cities was due to people getting into the line twice.

  • Zeeuw

    Making sure we have clean elections is an honorable goal, but it’s obvious that most of the energy behind True the Vote is coming from a desire to stop non-conservative people from voting.

    Let’s be upfront about this. Liberal backing of initiatives that make it easier for lower-income folks and minorities to register are aimed at boosting liberal votes. Conservative moves to block these are aimed at suppressing liberal votes.

    There is just no excuse for opposing any move that makes it easier for individuals to register to vote, for example at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Anyone who supports fairness and democracy would argue that more voters is always better. The question is whether the law makes it easier to register, or vote, for individuals who are more likely to vote a specific way. Let’s be honest about this. Voter fraud is a negligible situation in the US. It’s not something that would be dragging folks to conferences. This debate is partisan and ideological, and is absolutely driven by a desire to manipulate the vote, on one side or the other.

    Also, it’s offensive to liken barring someone from voting to a father’s curfew on a teenage girl _ maybe this betrays something about True the Vote’s attitude toward those it seeks to keep away from the polls.

  • EEllis

    I don’t have to show a picture ID to buy OTC meds or use a credit card.

    Many, many states have enacted laws requiring ID to purchase meds that can be used to make meth. This is very common and has been pushed by the feds. In Texas you actually get listed on a database every time you buy sudafed. And every business reserves the right to ID for any credit card purchase.

  • Rcoutme

    EEllis: I was not meaning to question your claim. I believe it whole-heartedly. I was only mentioning that I (personally) don’t have to. I wondered if there was some sort of Big-Brother shenanigans going on concerning these things.

  • Zeeuw

    E, sounds as if you & I have found something we can agree on, if you think this is something bad _

    ‘you actually get listed on a database every time you buy sudafed.’

    Making adults register on databases to purchase cold medicine isn’t making a dent in meth production _ it’s just creating more opportunities for smugglers, & driving the makers to cut their product with ever dodgier crap.

    Intentionally or not, making people jump through such degrading hoops gradually makes populations grow meek.

    I’ve never owned or used a credit card, and I’m a successful professional in my late 40s who travels internationally for work. It’s doable.

    I’m not sure that tougher laws for voter registration are wrong, but the motivations of both True the Vote and the Democrat registration advocates appear somewhat suspect to me. Both sides are attempting to make it easier for their side to vote, and tougher for the other. I’m not sure what the answer is. Maybe good to err on the side of permissiveness, and cut off efforts by both sides to manipulate registration.

  • The_Ohioan

    Zeeuw “Both sides are attempting to make it easier for their side to vote, and tougher for the other.”

    You will have to explain to me how the Democratic effort to get out the vote makes it tougher for the other side to vote. I missed something there, I think.

  • Zeeuw

    The_Ohioan, Thanks for your reply.

    You’re right, I should have said both sides are attempting to make it easier for their side to vote, ~or~ tougher for the other.

    The Democrats are not attempting to make it harder for the other side to vote, as Conservatives and Republicans are.

    Democrats and Republicans have both made efforts to encourage registration among demographics who are more likely to vote for them. I don’t object to this, but I do find it hypocritical to claim the cause of boosting turnout or reducing fraud, when what you’re actually doing is driven by partisan agenda. I believe that the Democrats’ strategy of making it easier for lower-income folks and minorities to vote is favorable to the Republicans’ strategy of attempting to keep them from voting.

    However, each approach still is a strategy. If we’re speaking about making elections more fair, for folks on both sides, I’m suggesting that it’s better to encourage registration efforts, but not to encourage efforts to make it more difficult for anyone to vote. Hope that clarifies things. Thanks for your feedback.