The Quest For Electoral Integrity - America needs it but won’t get it from this administration
Based upon my most recent experience with elections last November, I have learned quite a bit about voting irregularities. I clearly admit that I have never seen such a lack of professionalism and integrity as in evidence last fall. And if we continue down the path of suspect elections like those in South Florida, among other places, then we no longer will have the consent of the governed.
Therefore, when I found out this Monday, April Fool’s Day, that President Obama had signed an executive order last Thursday, right before Good Friday and Easter Sunday, establishing the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, well, I figured that news, along with the declaration of April as National Financial Capability Month, was a really bad hoax.
To my chagrin, I learned that neither report was a hoax. Unfortunately, the election commission, nine members all appointed by Obama, is a joke in a very real sense.
Their mission is to identify best practices and otherwise recommend ways to promote efficient election administration so that all eligible voters can cast ballots without undue delay. They also have the task of improving the experience of voters who face ballot obstacles, such as members of the military, overseas voters, those with disabilities and people with limited English proficiency.
The commission can consider:
- The number, location, management, operation and design of polling places;
- The training, recruitment and number of poll workers;
- Voting accessibility for uniformed and overseas voters;
- The efficient management of voter rolls and poll books;
- Voting technology and machine capacity;
- Ballot simplicity and voter education;
- Voting accessibility;
- The management of provisional ballots on Election Day;
- Absentee balloting programs;
- The adequacy of contingency plans for natural disasters and other emergencies that may disrupt elections;
- And other election administration issues that the co-chairs agree the commission should address.
The stench of hypocrisy
So the administration that did nothing to prosecute the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation in Philadelphia in the 2008 presidential election is supposed to be trusted to assess obstacles to voting?
The administration that has yet to bring any charges against poll worker Melowese Richardson, who arrogantly admitted to voting six times in Hamilton County, Ohio, last year, is supposed to assess poll-worker training and voter suppression?
The president who heads the party that believes showing a picture ID before voting is voter suppression – but who ironically was nominated at a convention where entrance required picture IDs – is supposed to be objective?
The hypocrisy is incredible.
This executive order truly extends the reach of the president into the business of states, which is exactly what he intends to do. One can only imagine the recommendations the commission will make.
I wonder if the commission will investigate the actions of St. Lucie County, Fla., Supervisor of Elections Gertrude Walker, who admitted to submitting election results with irregularities. She also faces a lawsuit brought against her based upon questionable actions in November.
Will this commission investigate Palm Beach County, Fla., Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher, who extended early voting without consent of the state and informed only Democratic campaigns?
Are those the type of “best practices” this commission will examine?
Election reform minus the commission
At a time when America is facing a horrendous economic situation, rising energy prices and a national security meltdown on the Korean peninsula, we see where Obama’s priorities are: attacking Second Amendment rights and eroding the integrity of the American electoral process.
Now, all you liberal progressives out there who read this missive and whose heads are about to explode, honestly ask yourselves, what if former President George W. Bush had done this by executive order after the 2000 election? Yeah, you would have gone apoplectic and every mainstream news outlet would have covered this story and demanded Bush’s impeachment.
My election recommendations are simple: Get rid of early voting. There should only be Election Day voting and absentee voting for those who cannot vote in person. Election Day should be a national holiday, paid, and polls should be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., with no rush for the media to proclaim winners.
We should not have same-day voter registration and voting. And in keeping with English being the language of America, ballots should only be in English. Anyone who cannot read and understand the language probably should not be a citizen and, therefore, should not be voting.
Voters should be required to show picture IDs to verify they are who they say they are. Tell me where anyone can go in America without such identification. That is not voter suppression.
Remember Melowese Richardson. How many votes did her multiple voting suppress?
Steadfast and Loyal,
Allen B. West