Monday, June 1, 2009

Weekly Opinion/Editorial
by Steve Fair
The old saying goes - if you want to vote after you are dead- move to Chicago. The implication is that voter fraud is commonplace in the Windy City. But it appears that post mortem voting is going on in the Sooner state. The Tulsa World conducted an investigation on dead people voting in Oklahoma and found that 429 dead people are on the voter rolls and that ten of the deceased had in fact voted after their death. The World conducted the investigation after Governor Henry vetoed a Voter ID bill that would have required a voter have valid identification to cast their vote. Henry’s veto was overturned by the Republican controlled legislature and Oklahoma voters will vote on the proposal in November 2010.

"The right to vote is one of our most precious freedoms, guaranteed to all eligible U.S. citizens regardless of their race, gender, religion, income level or social status, and policymakers must be especially careful when tinkering with this fundamental right," Henry said in his veto message.

"The action just confirms the fact that their proposal wasn't strong enough to attract enough votes to override the governor's veto," said Paul Sund, a Henry spokesman. "They're (the legislature) obviously gambling they can convince Oklahoma voters to trust the Legislature more than the League of Women Voters." The Oklahoma League of Women Voters had encouraged Henry to veto the bill.

The measure would have disenfranchised thousands of voters, created long lines and burdened precinct officials, said Gloria Caldwell, a spokeswoman for the League of Women Voters of Oklahoma. Caldwell said there was no evidence there was widespread voter fraud in Oklahoma. It will be interesting to see how Caldwell responds to The World article and the findings of dead people voting in Oklahoma.

Just who is the League of Women Voters and why would they be against voter ID? The group was established over eighty years, shortly after women’s suffrage. Their public image is one of little old ladies who sole goal is better citizenship and greater participation in the electoral process by women, but that’s far from the truth.

In the past thirty years, the League of Women Voters has become an activist organization for the Democrat party. No longer just involved in voter education and non-partisan efforts, the League’s website reveals political goals well beyond that of female voter recruitment. Its comprehensive policy manifesto includes positions supporting abortion, campaign finance restrictions, gun control, reduced defense spending, and prohibition of oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Taken point by point, it bears remarkable similarity to the Democratic Party platform of 2000.

The League used to sponsor the Presidential debates, but after 1988, they only work with the Democrats in their Presidential primary. The League is no place for conservatives and no friend to Republicans.
Democrats and the League throw around the word “disenfranchise” today, but not everyone knows what it means. According to Webster, it means to deprive someone of the right to vote. I know of no Republican who wants to disenfranchise voters. Political activists want more participation in the process. We just want the process to be fair and honest. This bill would just insure that when ninety five year old John Smith votes, it’s actually John Smith voting. The bill would require that John have a valid ID to vote. Sounds reasonable, logical and sensible, because if John Smith went down to the bank to cash a check, they would ask for identification to insure he was John Smith. This disenfranchising talk is insulting and demeaning to voters. How could anyone living in the 21st century survive without a valid ID?

House Speaker Chris Benge, R-Tulsa, said, " I am confident the people of Oklahoma will support this common-sense reform and I am glad they will have the opportunity to vote on it." Senate President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, said he anticipates widespread support for the measure when it goes to a vote of the people.

Ten votes out of the thousands cast in an election is not a huge percentage, however one vote fraudently cast in an election is one too many. The person who voted for the dead person should be found and prosecuted- Republican or Democrat. The liberals who oppose this bill will attempt to trivialize the World’s findings. But when someone commits fraud by voting in place of a dead person in an election, they are stealing from you and me. That is unacceptable and a practice that must be stopped in Oklahoma. It's time we pulled our heads out of the sand and faced facts- voter fraud is happening in Oklahoma!


David said...

Hey Steve, time to update your blog here. 9 of the 10 votes were explained by simple mistakes (did you leave that out on purpose) - ie not fraud - now we are down to 1 vote in 12 million still be looked at. On one side possibly one vote on the other side hurdles and disenfranchisement towards the poor, elderly, disabled who will not be able to cast a regular ballot, hmmm you are probably on the side of hurdles for those kind of people even with NO evidence for your arguments.

David said...

10 votes out of tens of thousands - HA it is down to 1 vote in 12 million - you are right that is not a very high percentage. Probably lots more people will be discouraged by the new Republican hurdles to the vote.