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The Tentacle


August 22, 2005

Voting Rights: Where's the beef?

Richard B. Weldon Jr.

The National Democratic Party, led by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, would have us believe that voters, especially minority voters in large urban centers, have been denied their right to vote throughout the nation.

Apparently, the problem is so pervasive and of such a large scale that Donna Brazile, former Vice President Al Gore's campaign manager, had to be brought in to study and document the scope of the problem.

Ms. Brazile has done exactly that, she has studied the problem and produced a report. I've read it. So should you. The report is entitled Democracy at Risk: The 2004 Election in Ohio. You can read and/or download the report from the National Democratic Party's website.

Ms. Brazile, who purportedly would defend the rights of every American to vote, seems most concerned with instituting reforms that would allow anyone to vote. Her report focuses more on lessening the ability of local governments from controlling ballot access by illegal immigrants, convicted criminals, and other people who shouldn't possess that right (like the dead, and I don't mean the rock band from San Francisco).

>From her investigation to her recommendations for the future, Ms. >Brazile and her team seem much more concerned about easing voter access, regardless of legal ability to vote, than they do to the pervasive voter fraud that occurred in the very state she was studying.

She dismisses the idea that there was widespread voter fraud underway in Ohio during the 2004 presidential election, and asserts that making it easier for people to vote (read: restrict the legal oversight of the electoral process) will increase participation.

She's right, that's exactly what would happen. More votes would be cast under the Donna Brazile vision of voting in America. Unfortunately, here is a short list of actual, registered voters in Ohio during the 2004 presidential election: Dick Tracy, Mary Poppins, Jeffery Dahmer, Donald Duck, and my personal favorite, Jive Turkey, Sr. One has to assume that Jive Turkey, Jr., still isn't old enough to vote.

I didn't make this up. I took those names from a very different study of the 2004 presidential election in Ohio. This study, commissioned by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Administration, focuses on both voter access and voting fraud during the last presidential election. You can get this report from the House Committee staff, and I strongly suggest you do so.

The House Committee study lists a number of violations of federal and local election law. These problems, seen in a number of Ohio voting precincts, were traced back to four organizations. The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), America Coming Together (ACT), the AFL-CIO (before losing the Teamsters and SEIU), and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) National Voter Fund are all cited in the report for specific, enumerated instances of voter fraud.

You probably wouldn't be surprised to know that each of these groups is tied directly and closely to the same National Democratic Party led by Gov. Howard Dean. The same Ms. Brazile that led the Democrat's election study worked hand-in-hand with these same groups while trying in vain to get Al Gore elected president in 2000, and again for John Kerry in 2004.

Here are just a few specific examples of how these groups tried to illegally influence the election.

ACORN

- Submitted "blatantly false" voter registration cards in

Franklin County.

- Submitted registrations for deceased persons, in one case listed the same person as having 25 different addresses.

- Submitted a voter registration for an illegal alien and a suspected terrorist.

- One busy ACORN staffer filled out 19 different fraudulent registrations, caught because his handwriting showed up on all 19 fake voter forms.

- ACORN turned in 526 registrations after the codified deadline.

- Routinely violated statute regarding politicking within 100 feet of the polling place.

AFL-CIO

- Organized labor knows something about election laws, especially how to break them. AFL-CIO poll workers wore Kerry Edwards stickers in plain view on their clothing while inside the polling place, a violation of Ohio election law.

- At a number of voting places, AFL-CIO volunteers shouted out "Kerry for President" within the 100-foot exclusion areas, and ignored the requests of poll workers to stop harassing voters.

ACT

- ACT turned in 1,284 suspicious voter registration forms, including my old friend Jive Turkey, Sr. Jive was nice enough to include his middle name, but propriety and the editor prohibit listing it here

- Lake, Cuyahoga, and Trumbull counties all opened formal investigations into ACT and the methods they used to fill out voter registration forms.

- ACT routinely violated the rules regarding campaigning within the exclusion areas in several counties.

NAACP National Voter Fund

- Not to be outdone by either ACT or ACORN, the NAACP NVF was also accused of a number of serious violations of elections law, including exchanging crack cocaine for registrations (that's where Mary Poppins and Dick Tracy got registered), forging signatures on forms for deceased persons, and just making up voters names and identities out of whole cloth.

Donna Brazile would try to fool the gullible into believing that voter registration is too difficult for normal people. She advocates no requirement to verify the identity of a voter, or only for the first time voting.

Ms. Brazile also sees no need for restrictions on limiting expression at the actual polling places, probably because her supporters and advocacy groups don't ever pay attention to them anyway.

There is one group she would support restrictions for, and I'll bet you can' t guess who they are. Men and women serving in the U.S. military, that's who!

In her world, the more people who vote, the better the outcome. Obviously, in Ohio, that appears to have been the strategy of several groups who shared the Democratic Party's desire to see George W. Bush lose the election.

I am not suggesting that the National Democratic Party either coerced or endorsed widespread voter fraud. I do, however, find it very interesting that the very same special interests that claim that minority voters are discouraged from voting are actively participating in acts of voter fraud themselves.

Now Ms. Brazile and her supporters have set their sights on Maryland. Clearly, the liberal bias of a majority of voters statewide seems to produce a fertile soil for the voting rights argument.

Democrat legislators in the House and Senate of Maryland's General Assembly have plans to pick up Ms. Brazile's gauntlet and try to force through bills to loosen up Maryland election laws. The widespread voter fraud that cost Ellen Sauerbrey the governor's mansion may be needed to force Gov. Bob Ehrlich out of office.

I'm leaning towards the idea that the state Democratic party may be intent on any trick or advantage they can squeeze out of law, especially in light of the success of Governor Ehrlich in fighting back broad based tax increase while fully funding public education.

Donna Brazile and her minions argue that conservatives want to discourage minorities from expressing themselves in the American political process. I' ve even read that drivel espoused on these very electronic pages. Just goes to show you that a lack of facts is not an obstacle to an erroneous opinion.

The simple truth is that most conservatives (and many moderates) believe that voting should be reserved for those who have earned the privilege. Illegal immigrants, convicted felons, deceased persons, comic book super heroes, and fairy tale characters have neither earned the right nor deserve our attention when it comes to the electoral process.

Columnists and opinion leaders who try to attack me as a racist will fall on their own sword. I'm not even remotely racist, and the tired argument that we are a nation of immigrants as an excuse for accommodating people in this country illegally ignores one important fact: my forefathers, who immigrated here from Germany and England, all learned the language, the culture, and the traditions of America so that they could raise their families as Americans.

Maryland voters, and especially voters in Frederick County and Western Maryland, need to see through the false claims and veil of mystery that those same well-financed special interests are spreading nationwide.

Don't trust a shill selling snake oil, and don't trust organizations that have spent millions to corrupt honest elections around the country. Also, don't be cowed by those who throw around the racist epithet, either. I've decided that anyone who calls me a racist might actually have some basis to judge from, as they are likely the worst kind of racist themselves.

Maryland is too good for the lies, deceptions, and dishonest claims of special interests that would allow (and even sanction) voter fraud. They speak with a forked tongue when they whine about guaranteeing fair and honest elections.



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