EDITOR’S NOTE: Below is a guest post by Paul R. Hollrah, a resident of Oklahoma who writes from the perspective of a veteran conservative politico whose life experience includes having served two terms as a member of the Electoral College. Even if you disagree with him, this piece will make you think long and hard.
Now that Republicans have working majorities in both houses of Congress, the American people can once again enjoy the benefits of the constitutional republic that the Founders designed for us. Right? Well, not so fast. To expect the current crop of congressional Republicans to do what is necessary to restore constitutional government and repair the damage done by Barack Obama… let alone know what must be done… is entirely problematic.
As a case in point, the recent battle over construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline demonstrates the complete fecklessness of congressional Republicans. From the instant the last ballot was counted in November, it was clear that one of the first bills to pass in the 114th Congress would be a bill to approve construction of the pipeline… a bill that Barack Obama promised to veto if and when it reached his desk. Does Obama care about the environment or the leftists who politicize it? Of course not. What he does care about are the many millions of dollars that pour into Democrat Party coffers from a handful of radical environmentalists.
What congressional Republicans apparently failed to recognize was the immense political gains to be made if the issue was properly handled. By developing best estimates of the number of engineers, contractors, welders, heavy equipment operators, truck drivers, and laborers required to complete the project, along with the generous salaries, wages, and benefits that those workers would command, Republicans could have armed themselves with the most potent political weapon they’d ever been blessed to have. By seeing to it that every Republican in Congress had that information at his/her fingertips, with instructions to repeated it in every radio, TV, and print media interview, and in every public appearance, Republicans could have driven a very large wedge either between the Democrat Party and radical environmentalist, or between Democrats and organized labor.
By signing the pipeline bill Obama would reap the anger of the radical environmentalists and win the approval of organized labor. Conversely, by vetoing the bill he would win high praise from environmentalists, but organized labor would be angered enough to split the Democrat vote in many national and state elections. For Republicans, it was a win-win proposition. However, instead of using that opportunity to their advantage, making a veto override a real possibility, congressional Republicans treated that opportunity as if it were a sexually-transmitted disease.
While Democrats can be counted upon to always play hardball, Republicans seem intent upon playing political softball. So, if congressional Republicans aren’t smart enough to recognize a political advantage when one falls into their laps, how can we expect them to recognize the political damage to be done if Obama is successful in giving Social Security numbers, drivers licenses, and voter registration cards to millions of illegals, none of whom are eligible to vote?
Even though they are seriously victimized by fraud, violence, and intimidation in every election, congressional Republicans appear to be blithely unaware of the problem as Democrats continue to liberalize the electoral process. In fact, it is unlikely that election reform is even on their wish list. Although election law is generally a matter of state law, a comprehensive election reform law targeting federal elections would supersede state law. A comprehensive election reform bill… one that would put Obama and congressional Democrats in a tight box… would contain the following elements of reform:
1. Voter registration must be done only in person. Fraud-friendly motor-voter, postcard, Internet, and same-day registration schemes must be either repealed or superseded. In same-day registration states, Democrats have recruited teams of college students to travel from precinct to precinct, registering to vote and voting numerous times in the same day. In a heavily-Democratic county in Minnesota, an undercover investigator visited a county election board to ask whether or not it was necessary for new voters to register in person, saying that he had two friends, Tom Brady and Tim Tebow, who were unable to appear in person. The investigator was given twenty registration forms and was told that he could register twenty voters with the forms.
2. Registrations must be done only by full-time registrars, employees of counties and/or township government, and only in the state, county, and/or township in which the registrant maintains his/her primary residence. Third-party registrars, paid and unpaid, must be prohibited. In 2012, a voter registration study showed that, in North Carolina alone, some 35,570 voters shared the same first names, last names, and dates of birth with individuals registered to vote in other states. Another 765 North Carolinians had the same first names, last names, birthdays, and final four digits of a Social Security number as those who voted in other states. As a requisite for voter registration, each voter should be required to show proof of citizenship (birth certificate or passport) and proof of residence (drivers license, residential deed, apartment lease, utility bills, etc.).
3. Before voting, each voter must show an official government-issued photo ID (drivers license, passport, etc.), or an official state-issued voter registration card complete with telephone number, home address, Social Security number, and precinct number. As an alternative, and as a means of preventing voters from voting more than once in a single day, states may require voters to dip a finger into a vial of indelible ink after voting.
4. Court administrators must be required to furnish local election boards with name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number of every individual convicted of a felony. Election boards must be required to purge voter registrations rolls of all felons at least ten days prior to any election. County Coroners must be required to furnish election boards with copies of all death certificates. All deceased persons must be removed from the voter rolls no later than ten days prior to any election.
5. Registered voters who move from one state to another, from one county or township to another, or from one precinct to another, must be required to obtain voter registration transfer documents from their local election board. This document must be presented, in person, to voter registrars of the voter’s new place of residence.
6. Absentee ballots must be received no later than ten days prior to an election. Absentee ballots, other than those of overseas military personnel, must be tallied no later than the day and hour that polls close in any election. Absentee ballots completed by residents of hospitals, nursing homes, elder care, and mental health facilities must be completed only in the presence of representatives of both major political parties.
7. Other than absentee ballots, voting must be done in person, only on the day of the election, and only in the precinct in which the voter maintains his/her primary place of residence. Electronic voting and vote-by-mail schemes must be repealed or superseded. Provisional ballots must be limited only to the most serious instances of clerical error by election board officials.
8. The Voting Rights Act must be amended to provide fines and mandatory jail sentences for any individual who would, in any election in which the name of a candidate for federal office appears on the ballot, do any of the following:
a. Vote in the name of another person;
b. Vote or attempt to vote more than once in any election;
c. Vote in the name of a deceased or fictitious person;
d. Vote in more than one state or political subdivision;
e. Vote without benefit of U.S. citizenship;
f. Intimidate, interfere with, or cause injury to the person or property of any other person peaceably engaged in the political process; or
g. Cause any other person to do any of the foregoing.
In an April 10, 2014, speech before Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, Barack Obama attempted to rally his base by charging, falsely, that Republicans were attempting to suppress the black vote in the 2014 elections. Demonstrating once again that he is either totally dishonest or ignorant of the facts, he said, “The principle of one person-one vote is the single greatest tool we have to redress an unjust status quo. You would think there would not be an argument about this anymore. But the stark, simple truth is this: The right to vote is threatened today in a way that it has not been since the Voting Rights Act became law nearly five decades ago.”
In truth, what Obama would like to see is a system in which only Democrats and illegal aliens get to vote twice. If Republicans had any courage at all they would insist on tightening the noose around vote fraud and stop ignoring Democrat efforts to create more fraud-friendly processes. They might use comprehensive voting reform as yet another issue that would require Democrats to identify themselves for who and what they are.
As Obama has said, one would think that there would no longer be a question about holding open and honest elections in the United States, but that’s not the way things are. Decent, honest, men and women will endorse the reforms outlined above. Democrats, on the other hand, are certain to oppose them.
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