The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday is an important decision made by the U.S. Supreme Court last week concerning voter registration rolls. The verdict affirms Ohio’s right to keep their records up to date. The decision is a strike for freedom.
One would think that all Americans would want voter registration rolls to be accurate, but this would apparently be a wrong assumption. Thomas Lifson shares some liberal reactions to the court’s decision. One of the reactions comes from Andrew Chung of Reuters:
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday revived Ohio's contentious policy of purging infrequent voters from registration rolls in a ruling powered by the five conservative justices and denounced by liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor as an endorsement of the disenfranchisement of minority and low-income Americans.
For whatever reason liberals such as Sonia Sotomayor believe that keeping the voter registration rolls current will be harmful to some groups of Americans. Registrars do not automatically remove a name of an infrequent voter from voting registers. The Ohio policy is to send registration confirmation notices to any registered voter who has not voted in two years. If the voter does not respond, their names are purged IF they do not vote during the next four years.
The notices are to determine if the person on the record actually lives at the address on the registration. If they are not living in the precinct, they should not be voting in the precinct. If the person responds to the notice or votes, their name remains on the list. If there is no response at all, the name is purged from the voter registration roll.
The process seems to be responsible, and it was approved by the Supreme Court. However, liberals are upset. The most hysterical response came from Senator Chuck Schumer in several tweets. His first tweet says that the “ongoing push to disenfranchise Americans” comes from the Trump administration. “This is why elections matter.” In other words, VOTE!
The next tweet reminds Schumer’s followers that the “right to vote is the most sacred right we have as citizens. Aggressive voter purge systems like Ohio’s essentially make voting a `use it or lose it’ privilege.” The right to vote is not a “use it or lose it” situation, but having one’s name on the voter registration rolls is. If a person has not voted in six years, there is no need to keep their name on the rolls.
Schumer’s third tweet says, “Democracy suffers when laws make it harder for U.S. Citizens to vote. This decision is dangerous and damaging and is NOT why we passed the National Voter Registration Act in `93. In fact, this goes completely against the spirit of the law.” Democracy really does suffer when there are fraudulent votes!
Lifson reminds his readers that fraudulent votes disenfranchise the genuine American voters. He also says that the “Failure to purge the rolls of those who have moved or died or given up on voting is an open invitation to fraud.” He then quotes Dan McLaughlin of NRO to give some perspective on matter:
The Court was not asked to decide if states are allowed to purge names from the voter rolls. Federal law requires them to do so. That law, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 [referred to by Schumer], was written by congressional Democrats, passed with the votes of every single Democratic senator and 238 of the 252 Democrats in the House at the time (including Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, Steny Hoyer, and James Clyburn) and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The NVRA, also known as the “motor voter” law, expanded voter registration in a number of ways, but it also formally recognized the legitimate interests of states in periodically updating their lists of voters so they are limited to people actually still residing in a place where they are eligible to vote, and commanded them to do something about it:
NVRA requires States to “conduct a general program that makes a
reasonable effort to remove the names” of voters who are ineligible “by reason of” death or change in residence. §20507(a)(4).
It seems that the Democrats in office at that time the law was passed were so anxious to make voter registration easy that they did not consider the updating aspect of this law. They thought that they could continue adding potential voters without any consequences. If the names of dead people or former residents are no longer on the voter registration rolls, it will be harder for a fraudulent vote to be made for them.
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