Saturday, March 14, 2020

Elections and voting are important and demand effort and honesty

Elections are one of the most important rights and sacred duties of American citizens. Therefore, the nation must do whatever is necessary to assure that elections are free of fraud and abuse. 

Accusations of fraudulent activity are common. Thousands, perhaps millions, of people are on voter rolls who have passed away, moved to another jurisdiction, or who are not eligible voters. Elections must be limited to citizens who are legal voters and registered in the states and localities in which they live.

Some elected officials keep trying to make everything related to voting, from registration to actual ballot-casting, easier. Many believe these efforts are beneficial, and to an extent, they are. But we must work hard to protect the rights we have, and that includes our right — and our duty — to vote for those who will serve us in public office. We must not allow convenience to become the enemy of a fair and just election.

We should not mind putting forth the effort needed to get ourselves properly registered to vote, and get to the polls on election day to cast our ballots. We should not mind spending the necessary time studying those running for office so that we make educated choices. Important things deserve our putting out some effort for them.

Some people, however, cannot negotiate the rigors of registration and voting, so most states have mechanisms to help those people, and some private organizations also assist them.

Some of the “conveniences” created to make voting easier weaken the system. Early voting, for example, is a loser, as many Democrats learned recently. Three candidates dropped out before voting on Super Tuesday, meaning those who voted early for those three wasted their votes. 

Absentee ballots for people who are away from their voting district on election day are a reasonable option, but that idea, too, may result in wasted votes if the ballots are submitted too early.

And we see several other truly bad ideas for the election process that are currently being pushed. Among them are:
* All mail-in ballots - All ballots will be distributed and returned by mail
* Ballot harvesting - Permits individuals to collect ballots and supposedly return them to a sanctioned voting office to be counted
* Automatic voter registration - People are automatically registered to vote when they register a vehicle at the DMV, and must “opt out” if they are not eligible to vote
* Abolishing voter ID requirements - Show up at the polls and vote; no ID of any kind required
* Abolish voter residency requirements - Normally, name, birthdate and residential address are required, but this would do away with the residential address requirement
* Same-day voter registration - Show up at the polls and vote, and if you are not registered when you get to the polling place, you register, then vote
* Out-of-precinct voting - A variation of same-day registration

These measures are a flashing neon sign inviting election fraud, taking the control of election results out of the hands of election officials, and delivering it into the hands of cheaters, who do not want an honest system, and therefore look for weaknesses to exploit. 

And here are two more foolish ideas being floated by those wishing to weaken the election system:
* Lax enforcement of the National Voter Registration Act - Discouraging the cleaning of dead or ineligible persons from voter rolls 
* Doing away with the Electoral College - Making the popular vote determine who will be president, which allows a few high-population areas to make the decision and the rest of us are at the mercy of their choice

These ideas are, generally speaking, being advanced by individuals and organizations on the left, and more specifically by Open Society Foundations (OSF), which are organizations that have contributed $1.5 billion to 199 other organizations in the U.S. Formed in 1979 by billionaire George Soros, OSF received $18 billion from Soros in 2017, which was more than 70 percent of his total wealth of $25.2 billion, as estimated by Forbes Magazine.

During the 2004 election cycle when George W. Bush was seeking reelection, Soros contributed some $25 million to liberal and Democrat groups working to defeat Bush, according to Judicial Watch.

Since that time, he has supported Democrat candidates for national office, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Of course, Soros is not the only one seeking to influence our elections.

Campaigns cost too much, these days, and the more money that is in the system, the more likely it is that mischief will occur. Former President Barack Obama warned Americans of the perils of “dark money” in elections, saying it “pulls us into the gutter” as a nation.

Why should any person or organization be allowed to contribute to any political campaign they choose, anywhere in the country? Why should someone in one state be able to contribute to campaigns of people seeking office in other states? If someone has no direct interest in who wins or loses a particular election, why should they be able to support those candidates?

Let us all want and work for clean, fair and just elections.

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