This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published April 26, 2015 at The Washington Times.
Sometimes, what appears to be complex is actually rather simple.
On a host of electoral integrity issues, the liberal position can be summarized in two words: enable cheating. You think that’s too harsh?
How else to explain the race-baiting rhetoric from President Obama on down against something as common-sense as voter photo ID laws, which the public supports by wide margins? Or the intense drive for Election Day registration, mail-in voting and earlier and earlier balloting, all of which make it harder to detect and prevent vote fraud? Or the opposition to any law ensuring that only citizens can vote?
A case in point of the latter is the Obama administration’s stiff-arming of two states that want to require proof of U.S. citizenship in order to register to vote. Kansas and Arizona, which already require proof of citizenship on state election forms, asked the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to include a requirement for proof of citizenship on the federal form.
Backed by the Obama Justice Department, the EAC declined. The two states sued, won in U.S. District Court, but saw the verdict overturned in the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Now, the case is heading for the U.S. Supreme Court.
In a brief submitted this past week asking the court to take the case, the American Civil Rights Union provided key evidence — federal voter registration forms — exposing the shocking ease with which noncitizens can register to vote without any proof of citizenship.
Of the 13 forms gathered from Harris County, Texas, by the voter integrity group True the Vote, “Four of the individuals actually checked ‘no’ on the citizenship question, six checked ‘no’ and ‘yes,’ and the remaining three left the checkbox blank entirely.” Nevertheless, they were all registered to vote. What’s wrong with this picture?
The brief notes that the Constitution “grants the States the power to control who may vote in federal elections [t]he EAC’s determination constitutes a usurpation of a power guaranteed to the States by the Constitution of the United States.”
If this were happening in normal times, it might not be so alarming. However, Mr. Obama is literally trying to replace the current electorate, which annoys him, with millions of new voters who can be bribed with federal welfare.
The White House Task Force on New Americans held a briefing last week at the George Soros-backed Migration Policy Institute to push its new “Strategic Action Plan on Immigrant and Refugee Integration,” according to the Daily Caller.
The Task Force is chaired by White House Domestic Policy Adviser Cecilia Munoz, former vice president of the radical racialist National Council for La Raza (“the Race”).
With tens of thousands of illegal aliens, many of them children, still pouring over the Texas border, the Obama administration recently assigned Social Security numbers to more than 500,000 illegals who qualified for Mr. Obama’s unilateral “Dreamer” amnesty in 2012. This does not go unnoticed where millions would like to enter the United States legally or illegally.
How would you like to be an election official in Texas or Arizona, faced with hundreds of thousands of possible new voters who are not citizens but who hold Social Security cards — a prime ID for registering to vote?
Another way the left is gaming elections is to use government power to silence conservatives during election cycles. The most glaring example is the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal harassment of tea parties and other conservative groups before the 2012 election, for which nobody has been held accountable — not even former IRS nonprofit official Lois “I’ll take the Fifth” Lerner. She has retired with a full pension.
In Wisconsin, left-wing prosecutors have been waging a war on conservative groups whose views align with those of Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who survived a union-led recall election in 2012 and then was re-elected in 2014. As The Wall Street Journal noted, several prosecutors “blanketed conservatives with subpoenas, raided their homes and put the targets under a gag order” so they couldn’t even alert the public to the jackboot tactics. Meanwhile, the prosecutors leaked one-sided details to the press while their victims could not respond. This is the left’s idea of securing fair elections.
Eric O’Keefe, director of the Wisconsin Club for Growth, filed a civil rights lawsuit against Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm and other prosecutors, and in May 2014, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa agreed that the law enforcers had overreached by seeking criminal charges against the groups “for exercising issue advocacy speech rights that on their face are not subject to the regulations or statutes the defendants seek to enforce.”
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the case, and the Club for Growth’s appeal has gone to the U.S. Supreme Court. If they follow the logic of their 2010 Citizens United ruling allowing corporations and unions the freedom to donate to campaigns, the justices should side with the Wisconsin groups being persecuted for their views.
Each of the attacks on electoral integrity in isolation would be disturbing. As a whole, they send the unmistakable message that the left will do anything — anything — to cheat and prevent another populist uprising like the national elections in 2010 and 2014.