When the polls closed on the November 2008 U.S. Senate election, I was ahead of Al Franken for the Minnesota seat by 215 votes out of nearly 3 million votes that had been cast.
Eight months later, Al Franken was declared the winner of the recount with a margin of 312 votes. A few months after that, Obamacare passed the U.S. Senate on a straight party-line, filibuster-proof 60 votes.
I have no desire to re-litigate the 2008 election, but elections matter.
Because the consequences of elections are so significant, all sides should
agree that ensuring the confidence of the governed is critical to the
effective functioning of democracy.In 2008, we learned that in
Minnesota, there were a number of precincts in which there were more
votes than voters — and throughout the state, more than 1,000 felons
voted. The extreme left-leaning political organization ACORN
registered more than 40,000 voters in 2008. This is the same
organization that had its funding repealed by a bipartisan vote in Congress
after it was revealed that it consistently has engaged in fraudulent
practices to register voters in other states. According to the
organization Minnesota Majority, 113 people are known to have been
convicted of voter fraud committed in Minnesota in 2008.Elected
officials govern with the consent of the governed. If there is a
question of whether that consent was truly given, the credibility of our
democratic system of government is called into question.In 2005, the
bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, led by former
President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III,
concluded that our “electoral system cannot inspire public confidence
if no safeguards exist to deter and detect fraud or to confirm the
identity of voters.” As a result, the Carter-Baker Commission
recommended that states adopt a photo-identification system.As
Mr. Carter said at that time, “Some critics of voter IDs think the
government cannot do this job, but Mexico and most poor countries
in the world have been able to register and
give IDs to almost all their citizens. Surely the United States can do
it, too.”The commission could have been talking about Minnesota
in 2008 when the report noted, “The right to vote is a vital component
of U.S. citizenship, and all states should use their best efforts to
obtain proof of citizenship before registering voters.” The report
continued, “In close or disputed elections, and there are many, a small
amount of fraud could make the margin of difference.”In fact, 31
states have a photo-ID requirement, including liberal Rhode Island,
which passed a voter-ID statute in 2011 with significant support from
black and Latino legislators.In states that have photo-ID requirements,
participation in elections has increased.
Still,much gnashing of teeth takes place on the left each time the issue of
voter fraud is raised in America. Instead of embracing the notion that
we should do everything possible to ensure the cleanest and most
integrated elections in the world, the left pillories those who call for
ballot reform.Common sense should prevail in this debate, not
the supercharged rhetoric of those who claim there is no evidence of
voter fraud or, conversely, of those who claim voter fraud is rampant in
America. Isn’t it strange that in states like Minnesota that do not
have photo-ID laws, you have to prove where you live, but not who you
are, in order to vote?This issue has been put before Minnesotans
in the form of an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution, with the
question: “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require all
voters to present valid photo identification to vote and to require the
state to provide free identification to eligible voters, effective July
1, 2013?”Opponents of the amendment have attempted to befuddle
Minnesotans with cries of racism and Jim Crow laws, suggesting that
there is a parallel between requiring a photo ID to vote and levying a
poll tax. The scare tactics are easy to refute but difficult to convey
in a public debate that is becoming increasingly hostile and
Democrat withdraws from 1st District congressional race after allegations she voted in two states
Rosen says she registered in Fla. to support friend there
Wendy Rosen, the Democratic challenger to Republican Rep. Andy Harris in the 1st Congressional
District, withdrew from the race Monday amid allegations that she voted in elections in both Maryland and Florida in 2006 and 2008.
It was unclear, however, whether she could remove her name from the ballot
with the election less than two months away. Under state law, a
candidate has until 70 days before an election to remove his or her name
from the ballot. The deadline for the Nov. 6 election passed on Aug. 28.
Democratic leaders — who raised the allegations, urged Rosen to step aside and notified prosecutors — said they would gather Central Committee members this month to identify a
write-in candidate for the district, which includes the Eastern Shore and parts of Harford, Carroll, Cecil and Baltimore counties.
Republicans, meanwhile, said the allegations prove that voter fraud is real and called on Democrats to join the GOP in calling for reforms.
Rosen, 57, a Cockeysville businesswoman and Maryland voter, told The Baltimore
Sun that she registered to vote in Florida several years ago in order to support a "very
close friend" running for the St. Petersburg City Council and to vote on local issues there.
Rosen said she was able to register in Florida because she owned property there.
Under Maryland law, a voter here may not maintain registration in a second state if it
allows the voter to participate in state or federal elections there, according to Jared
DeMarinis, director of candidacy and campaign finance at the State Board of Elections.
State Democratic Chairwoman Yvette Lewis said an examination of voting records
in Maryland and Florida showed that Rosen participated in the 2006 general election
and the 2008 primaries in both states.
Maryland and Florida both held gubernatorial and congressional contests in 2006 and presidential primaries in 2008, when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton competed for the Democratic
Asked by The Sun on Monday if she had voted in both states in the same
elections, Rosen said she did not remember how she voted. Asked if she
had voted twice in the 2008 presidential primaries, she declined to
comment "due to possible litigation."
Lewis referred the allegations Monday to Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler
and State Prosecutor Emmitt C. Davitt.
"We believe that this is a clear violation of Maryland law and urge the
appropriate office to conduct a full investigation," she wrote. "The
Maryland Democratic Party strongly believes in upholding and expanding
the right to vote but, at the same time, believes there should be zero
tolerance for voter fraud of any kind."
DeMarinis, the state elections official, said there are narrow circumstances
under which a Maryland voter may register legally in two places.
Some municipalities maintain separate voting rolls for local elections. These
allow property owners — even those that live and vote elsewhere — to
register and participate in elections for local offices and ballot questions.
Thus, DeMarinis said, a resident of Baltimore who owned a vacation home in
Ocean City could legally vote in local elections there, too.
DeMarinis said he knows of no law against a Maryland voter participating in local
elections in another state. But an out-of-state registration that permitted participation
in state and federal elections would be illegal,he said.
A spokesman for Maryland Democrats said party leaders were told of Rosen's
dual registration by someone within the party on Friday. After verifying the
details over the weekend, spokesman Matthew Verghese said, the leaders
confronted Rosen on Monday.
Rosen was seen as the underdog to Harris, a 55-year-old physician from Baltimore
County who is serving his first term in Congress. The district that has grown more
solidly Republican since Harris ousted Democratic Rep. Frank Kratovil in 2010.
Still,she mounted a highly visible effort to promote her candidacy in July at
the annual J. Millard Tawes crab feast in Crisfield.
Tags: Voter ID laws, Democracy, obama, biden, franken, reid, frank
Location: United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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