Thursday, September 27, 2007

Let’s count every California vote and check voter ID while we are at it

Ballot initiative would give Republican voters a chance to be counted

If you see folks in front of your local supermarket asking you to sign a petition, take a moment to stop and read it; hopefully you will also sign it.

An ‘Electoral Petition’ is being circulated to place on the ballot an initiative that will enable California Republican voters currently disenfranchised in presidential elections a voice in deciding the presidential election in 2008. On the current ‘winner take all’ basis, all 55 California electoral college votes are given to the Democrat candidate that gets the plurality of popular votes cast in the state. In the 2004 election all 55 electoral votes went to John Kerry even though he carried only 31 districts; 22 congressional voting districts voted for George Bush. There are 37 million people in California; it’s only fair to count all the votes and give each voter a meaningful role in selecting a new president, not just the Democrat majority that dominates state politics.

The proposed ballot initiative would allow each district to cast its vote independently of the others, with the two remaining state electoral votes going to the state popular vote winner. This method is in use in Main and Nebraska. Candidates for president who usually ignore California while campaigning would have to come to the state and compete for every vote and every California voter would be respected. Imagine presidential candidates having to become familiar with state issues to attract a California voter, what a concept.

To be on a ballot before the 2008 elections, supporters of the initiative have to get 434,000 signatures; therefore, don’t ignore those people with clip boards if you see them at your favorite shopping mall or supermarket, the vote you save may be your own.

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide if it’s OK to check ID of voters

Unbelievable as it may seem, there are people who believe it is improper to require voters to show a photo ID when someone wants to vote; naturally the ACLU is behind the challenge to local and state rules.

The specific law being challenged is in Indiana but the decision will affect the whole country. The ACLU says the law is unconstitutional but the Indiana law was upheld in an Indiana Federal District Court and by the Circuit Court of Appeals. The Federal judge in the case said for the majority of the court “The purpose of the Indiana law is to reduce voter fraud, and voting fraud impairs the right of legitimate voters to vote by diluting their votes.”

Not surprising, the ACLU is representing the state Democratic Party, a county Democratic Committee and two Democratic office holders, as well as organizations including the NAACP, who brought the suit. Donna Brazile who speaks for all Democrats says that the voter ID law is like a “modern-day poll tax… designed to disenfranchise black and poor voters”. Courts in Arizona, Michigan and Georgia have upheld laws like this but it was struck down in Missouri.

It is difficult to believe that in these days of rampant illegal immigration anyone would object to requiring proof of eligibility at voting booths. It’s also surprising that this suit is brought seemingly on behalf of black voters who can easily obtain legitimate photo IDs and not immigrants who may be actually unfamiliar with our voting requirements.

By the way, when the ACLU wins a law suit they collect ‘attorney fees’ whether or not they engage outside lawyers; I will have more about this another time.

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