Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

03 February 2017

The Integrity of the Vote

It is illegal for non-citizens to vote in the U.S. except in a few localities of Maryland.  It is illegal for the dead to vote, thankfully everywhere in the U.S.  It is illegal to vote in more than one state in an election.  It is illegal for a person to vote while impersonating another person.  It is illegal to vote as a fictitious person.  In 38 states it is illegal to vote while serving time in prison as a felon, while in other states it is illegal for a period of time after the completion of serving time or until the felon has petitioned the state for the return of the right to vote.  Yet, each of these types of illegal votes are known to happen.  What we do not adequately know is how many of these illegal votes occur.

We do know that there is a great potential for illegal votes.  We also know that some politicians and their campaign associates eagerly court illegal votes.

During the 2016 election campaign, Obama was asked on a Spanish-speaking radio station broadcast if non-citizens were in danger if they cast a vote in the election.  He told them they, including undocumented aliens, were citizens and no one would come after them if they voted because they were citizens.  So as far as this Democrat is concerned, the naturalization laws established by Congress in accordance with the power invested in the Congress by our Constitution shall be ignored in the interest of the fact that more than 80% of the votes of non-citizens in 2008 were votes for the Democratic Party.

John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, wrote an e-mail advising non-citizen immigrants to get a driver's license and then state at a polling site that they were a U.S. citizen.  That greater than 80% portion of the vote is just too hard for a dedicated socialist Democrat to resist.  A Rasmussen poll in 2015 found that 53% of Democrats support allowing even illegal aliens to vote.

The Democrats have long opposed voter ID and they have long favored mail-in ballots whose validity is especially difficult to ascertain.  In most states one can register to vote simply by stating that you are a citizen, so many non-citizens are registered to vote.  One of the ways we know this is because jurors are called based on the voter registration roles and many of those called get out of jury duty by claiming that they are not citizens.  We also know from an Old Dominion University study of the Cooperative Congressional Election Study of voters in the 2008 and 2010 elections that 14% of non-citizens said they were registered to vote.

What is the potential for immigrants, and especially non-citizen immigrants, to affect the outcome of elections in the U.S.?  It is clearly a function of their numbers, their understanding that it is illegal for them to vote, and the protections against those determined to vote.  Let us examine the number of immigrants first:

Of the immigrants, 47.1% in 2014 were citizens.  So of the 42.4 million immigrants in 2014, 52.9% were non-citizens, making the number of non-citizens about 22.4 million.  About 20 million of them were older than 18 years of age.  Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch has been making the mistaken claim that there are 42.4 million non-citizens in the U.S.  But 14% registration of 20 million non-citizens is 2.8 million illegal registrations.

A 2012 Pew Research Center study found that about 2.75 million people are registered to vote in more than one state.  It also found that 1.8 million dead people were registered to vote.  Adding up the non-citizen registrants, the multi-state registrants, and the dead registrants, the voter registration rolls have a very worrisome 7.35 million registered illegal voters.  Some of these people may themselves use their false registrations to vote -- well excluding the dead ones --, but as worrisome as that is, there is great potential for an organized effort by a nefarious minded organization or party to convert that potential into actual election stealing results.

Mind you, I am not claiming that it is likely that President Trump is correct in saying that there were 3 - 5 million illegal votes in the 2016 election.  I am saying that it is not acceptable knowing what is at stake in elections to have such a large potential for election abuse.  Evil-minded socialists in particular are often inclined to trample on individual rights by using such potential tools to undermine American freedoms.

It is clear that the Democrats are especially keen on encouraging non-citizens to vote and other illegal voting practices.  There are some known cases of Republican politicians also doing so.  None of these nefarious activities should be tolerated in the least.  The integrity of the vote is a very serious matter. It is all the more so because voters unleash and direct the hugely exaggerated powers of our big governments which make a practice of hurting some citizens and other residents in favor of the whims of a plurality of votes collected.  This situation is bad enough when the votes are those of citizens cast in a legal manner.

The Old Dominion University study estimated that 6.4% of U.S. non-citizens themselves voted in the November 2008 election and that 81% of those votes were for Obama.  Such numbers were actually enough that had they not been cast, John McCain would have won the electoral votes of the state of North Carolina instead of Obama.  That did not change the outcome of that election nationally, but there are not infrequent presidential elections that are changed by flipping a state with 15 electoral votes.  It is also very likely that Al Franken became a Senator representing Minnesota because of the illegal votes cast in that election.  ObamaCare was made law as a result of his election.  The Colorado Secretary of State, Scott Gessler, in an investigation of the U.S. Senate election of 2010 found that almost 5,000 illegal aliens cast votes in that election.  In 2005, the U.S. GAO found that as many as 3% of the 30,000 people called to jury duty in one U.S. district court were non-citizens despite being on the voter registration rolls.

Elections have consequences.  It is, unfortunately, rather difficult to detect all of the illegal votes after an election.  One has to find a way to see to it that illegal votes are not cast at all.  And one has to do this despite the concerted efforts of the Democratic Party to maintain the huge potential for election fraud. The Obama administration refused to comply with the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), which requires the states to keep accurate and up-to-date voter registration rolls, with help from the federal government in identifying those with citizenship and those without it.  The state of Maryland requested the help guaranteed by the NVRA to clean up its voter registration rolls from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service and was denied the information under the claim that that agency had to "safeguard the confidentiality of each legal immigrant."  Few states have made the effort to comply with the NVRA and without help from the federal government, it is very difficult for them to do much.

In general, the Obama administration has opposed voter ID, which is required, contrary to Obama's claims, in most other nations.  It has favored same-day registrations, voting by mail, open borders, amnesty for illegal aliens, and every other measure to increase the immigrant vote.  To clean up this mess, the federal government must be required to help the states comb their voter registration rolls for non-citizens and it must help them identify the registered dead using its information on social security and Medicare.  To be sure, there are cases in which the states can probably help the federal government clean up its social security and Medicare records as well.  It is important that every vote actually cast is checked against provided voter identification, including absentee ballots.  No voter registration should be allowed without proof of citizenship.  And, there should be a concerted effort to inform non-citizens that it is illegal for them to vote.  Each and every case of illegal voting that is found should be prosecuted vigorously and punished severely.  There need to be frequent and careful investigations of elections looking for any voter fraud that has occurred.  Elections are too vitally important not to make a major law enforcement effort to insure their integrity.

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