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No free pass to usurp my rights

By Staff | Jun 5, 2015

In my opinion, as to the legality or morality to have and enforce voter identification laws, the key to the problem is the Constitution of the United States of America. It tells us that the right to vote in federal, state and local elections is the right and the civic duty reserved for the “citizens” of this nation. It is not the right of undocumented non-citizens to vote in our elections and the best way to protect this right is to verify those intending to vote. Until just recently, if you wanted to vote, you had to produce your county issued voter registration card. There is no difference between the two in that they are, and should continue to be, required as proof of being a registered voter in that precinct and eligible to vote, having met the minimum status of being a citizen of the United States and a resident of that voting district.

The 14th, 15th and 24th Amendments lay out the most important guideline of all elections. Those three amendments state that no citizen shall have his or her rights or privileges abridged or denied by law. They do not guarantee those rights for non-citizens within the confines of this nation’s borders. Voter ID is just another attempt to protect the rights of our nation’s citizens.

Suppose there should be a pending law that all people, living in our county’s northern most municipality, be required to buy pizza and sodas for the entire county on the first Saturday of each month. What would keep me from going into Maryland and hiring a couple busloads of homeless individuals to take a bus ride to our fair county and use assumed names to sway the election in favor of this new law? I could assign them the names of living, or even dead, registered voters and have them vote. Voters could be bought for a cheeseburger and a Coke, but cost the targeted people thousands, a happy return on my money.

Without voter ID laws, and even if a poll worker knows the real individual whose identity has been usurped, they must allow the homeless person to cast their ballot, unchallenged. When the real voter arrives at the polling place, they are denied their right to vote or their vote is canceled because of irregularities, and the result is the same, those soon to be fleeced have to pick up the tab for pizza. I prefer mushrooms and onions on mine by the way.

Then there is the argument that voter fraud is a non-issue. In an autobiography by one Billy B. Burke, former Representative for Gilmer County (D) in the West Virginia legislature, he chronicled a 1976 conversation between himself and Chip Bull. During the conversation he informs Chip that at least one or two counties have over 100 percent vote of registered voters. When asked about how that could possibly occur, he replied that, “… just because a Democrat died in southern West Virginia, there was no reason to deny him his right to vote.” To me, this sounds as though it was not just recognized as an ongoing occurrence, but is condoned by his party.

In a nation of 325 million citizens, where generally only about half of the registered voters vote, if the majority of the 20 plus million non-citizens, here illegally are allowed to vote, they could change the results of a national election, especially in close races such as Bush versus Gore in Florida where only 500 votes determined the outcome of that national election. Their act of voting is both unconstitutional and illegal, right after the felony crime of illegally entering the country. If you want to give a free pass to others to infringe upon your constitutional rights, that is your business, but you have no right or privilege to allow them to unsurp mine.

Richard Zigler

Charles Town: