Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Election Integrity

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns the importance of integrity in the elections the United States. President Donald Trump is so concerned about voter fraud that he established a Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity on May 11, 2017, by Executive Order. Vice President Mike Pence was appointed as chairman of the Commission, and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was appointed as the vice chair.

            President Trump closed his commission on election integrity by another Executive Order on Wednesday, January 10, 2018. He still stresses the need for bringing integrity to the elections by the requirement for more voter identification. The task for ensuring election integrity has now been given to the Department of Homeland Security.

            The Commission accomplished all that it could do without the cooperation from most Democrat-led states. These states refused to release to the Commission their data from the 2016 Election. They did not want the Commission looking at their data or the methods for collecting it. Apparently, they have something to hide. Could it be many people casting illegal votes?

            President Trump insists that the system is rigged, especially in the states that will not release their information. Many people are wondering if the President will call for a national voter ID system. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Thursday that there is no decisive White House answer about whether or not the President favors a nation-wide voter ID system.

            Fred Lucas reports at The Daily Signal that the Commission consisted of five Democrats and seven Republicans. He says that Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation was a member of the Commission. He shares the following quote from Von Spakovsky that explains why the Commission could not accomplish its task.

Unjustified refusal from some states to work with us and dozens of meritless lawsuits; those two things made it next to impossible for the commission to do its work… They don’t want the American people to find the truth about [voter] fraud and errors and double voting.

            I am in favor of election integrity. I know that most Americans have personal identification because they need it for many other reasons than voting. I have to identify myself in many different situations. I cannot withdraw money from the bank without showing ID. I cannot see a doctor without showing ID. I cannot get into the Social Security office without showing ID and going through a metal detector. I cannot get on an airplane or even purchase certain medication without identifying myself. I assume that most Americans face similar situations. So, why is it such a big problem to identify ourselves before we vote for our leaders?

            Even though I want election officials to require voters to show personal identification, I have mixed feelings about a requirement for national identification. I do not know why I feel such apprehension because I already have a U.S. Passport. I am already in the national register!

            I decided to research some of the pros and cons of a national identification system and found this site that lists several of each. The pros of national ID cards listed on this site are:
(1) Immigration Control: … The card would include information about the person, such as height, weight and eye color, and other aspects to make it harder to forge. (2) Easier Identification: … While many people use a driver’s license [for making purchases with a credit or debit card], a national ID card will also let those without driver’s licenses prove their identity more easily and without hassle.

            The site lists three problems with national identification cards: (1) Feasibility [training and maintenance of staff, difficulty of proof for accomplishing task, and people like homeless who do not have Social Security numbers or birth certificates], (2) Redundancy: … There is no point in having a separate national identity card when the state driver’s license system is already in place, and (3) Possible Invasion of Privacy.

            Invasion of privacy or corrupted use of the identification is what concerns me. Therefore, I want to give you the full explanation from the site for this con in order to have better understanding.

National identification cards can be used to track an individual. In order for the national identification card to be usable by the government, a national database containing personal information would have to be created. This database could be considered an invasion of privacy. However, if the government chooses not to create this database, then it will be too easy for individuals to commit fraud by having multiple cards with different identities. (Emphasis added.)

            I will be watching this process closely because it presents yet another situation where we must give up freedoms in order to have security. If we want election integrity, are we willing to be registered nationally? I am not sure that I am willing to give up more freedom!

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