Blaine for County Executive

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| Steven R. Berryman | Chris Cavey | Joe Charlebois | Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Patricia A. Kelly | Jill King | Earl 'Rocky' Mackintosh | Tom McLaughlin | Roy Meachum | Zachary Peters | Cindy A. Rose | John W. Ashbury | Richard B. Weldon Jr. | Blaine R. Young |

DOCUMENTS


The Tentacle


February 4, 2011

Bigotry and Accusations

Joe Charlebois

State Del. Kathy Afzali (R., Frederick 4-A) has offered up a legislative proposal – as promised in her campaign – that would require Maryland residents to present proof of identification when arriving at the polls on Election Day.

 

On its face the legislation seems straight forward, common sense and reasonable. It would nearly ensure that those entitled to vote are actually the ones casting the ballot. This would then seem to assure an election with little to no irregularities.

 

Opponents of this legislation try to obfuscate the straight forward common sense approach presented by Delegate Afzali by making claims of racism or bigotry as seen in anonymous attacks on her character and intentions through on-line comments in the Frederick News Post’s comment section.

 

There are two distinct types of opponents to this legislation. Those who truly don’t think there is a possibility of fraud, and those who simply want to enfranchise illegal residents of Maryland.

 

Let’s first address the fact that there is no fraud in Maryland.  That is just naïveté. Any jurisdiction the size of the state of Maryland is going to have some level of illegal participation whether systematic or otherwise.

 

The requirements needed in order to be able to register to vote in the State of Maryland are as follow.

 

To be able to register to vote one needs to:

 

·   Be a U.S. citizen;

·   Be a Maryland resident;

·   Be at least 16 years old*

·   Not have been found by a court to be incapable of voting by reason of mental disability;

·   Not have been convicted of buying or selling votes;

·   Not have been convicted of a felony, or if you have, you have completed serving a court ordered sentence of imprisonment, including any term of parole or probation for the conviction.

*you may register to vote if you are at least 16 years old but cannot vote unless you will be at least 18 years old by the next general election. (Source: The Maryland State Board of Elections)

Although these rules are straightforward, who among the opponents of this legislation could guarantee that these requirements are being followed in their entirety?

 

How many felons are currently voting? How many “immigrants” are voting? How many Marylanders have voted from the grave? It happens.

 

What Delegate Afzali’s legislation is seeking to do is minimize potential abuses and actual abuses no matter the level of severity.

 

There is no other place in our society more important than the voting booth. Why legislation that protects the very importance of the vote has not received any co-sponsors on the Democrat side of the aisle in the House of Delegates is preposterous.

 

Detractors of Delegate Afzali have slandered her and mocked her appearance. They have questioned the origins of her surname and painted her with the brush of bigotry. All this is done in an attempt to silence her and keep her from holding her values of the true “one man – one vote” principle that we as Americans have died to defend.

 

With this type of opposition, the opponents to this legislation have proved themselves to be the true bigots.

 

Joe_Charlebois@yahoo.com

 



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