Sunday, September 24, 2006

Don Young casts the right vote

Young voted against HR 4844, the Federal Election Integrity Act, which aims to prevent noncitizens from voting (as though this is the most urgent problem with our voting system right now). SitNews has an excellent article on the subject. He was one of three Republicans voting against it (why does EVERYTHING seem to come down on party lines these days?), but it still passed, 228 to 196. The bill requires photo ID when voting, plus--and this is the stickler--proof of citizenship. The League of Women Voters is not happy about this.

Now, how many of you out there have proof of citizenship? And how many of you are thrilled by the idea of a national ID card, which, in essence, this would require?

Representative Young, I blasted you in my editorial, but you did good here. I'm just sorry it wasn't enough to prevent the bill from passing. And I'm really sorry that Congress is wasting its time on legislation like this, instead of dealing with the fundamental problems in our electoral system, like the unverifiable Dieboldization of our votes.


John said...

actually, I do. not hard to get, and, frankly, it really is the most significant issue with our electoral process. oh, yeah, Florida. Forgot them.

Deirdre Helfferich said...

I do too: a passport. And it costs money and about 6 weeks. The made poll taxes illegal for good reason. However, while whether one is a citizen is a significant issue in the voting process (aliens can vote in local elections in certain places in the country, by the way), it is not the most urgent issue in terms of problems in our voting process. Florida's illegal voter purges was a big one.

My point is simply that it's not like we have flocks of foreigners voting in our elections. The biggest problems we've got right now are a) throwing away of valid votes (been happening for a long time all over the country); b) prevention of voting by legitimate voters (Florida, Ohio); c) blatant corruption and conflict of interest by election officials (think Blackwell); and d) pretty clear indications of poor security, unverifiability, overcounting, undercounting, and election fraud in connection with electronic voting machines. And these voting machines were put in supposedly to Help America Vote -- but there's been some serious issues arising from their use.

These are urgent and serious problems that need to be addressed posthaste. Noncitizens voting is a nonissue; it's far more likely that citizens will be deprived of their chance to vote because they won't be able to afford the money to shell out for a passport or whatever, or because they can't leave work or get all the paperwork done in time. Eventually I suppose everyone (except the really poor) will have their proof of citizenship papers, and we'll be all hunky-dory. But in the meantime, it's a convenient way to disenfranchise a segment of the voting population. 2008 should be okay, since it merely requires photo ID by then. Proof of citizenship isn't required until 2010.

Still, what's throwing our elections isn't the alien voting bloc, it's the electronic voting fraud.