Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

EFF wants to disenfranchise Washington voters en masse

Via the Oregonian:
Voters would have to prove they are U.S. citizens and reregister to vote under an initiative that supporters said they will file this week.

Conservative think-tank Evergreen Freedom Foundation [...] is backing the initiative that was expected to be announced Wednesday afternoon.

The group takes issue with the state's new $6 million voter registration database, which has been checking for duplicate and dead voters since last month.

"The database is capable of maintaining a clean voter list. It cannot create a clean voter list," Booker Stallworth, the foundation's spokesman, said Tuesday.
Where to begin?

Let's start here: This attempt to force every Washingtonian to re-register to vote and prove their citizenship is disgusting and un-American.

This brazen proposal is also likely in conflict with federal law.

Conservatives aren't for "freedom". They're for disenfranchisement - stripping voters of their rights. Whether that's challenging voters' registrations, introducing bills in the Legislature to make it more difficult to vote, or this initiative, the right wing is trying its hardest to take your Constitutional right to vote away. That's what they stand for.

Accountability? Responsibility? Opportunity? Equality? Not if the right wing gets its way. They're for democracy - so long as they're always winning and maintaining power. And if that means cheating people or the process, that's fine with them.

Disenfranchising thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of voters? If that's what it takes, then that is what they'll do.

Voters would be wise to decline to sign this outrageous attack on their rights and express their anger towards the EFF and its allies for this assault on democracy.

UPDATE: TJ points us towards an interview he did last year where he asked Assistant Secretary of State Steve Excell about a similiar proposal in the state Legislature:
On HB 2158, the suggestion that all voters be de-registered in order to refresh the rolls and verify people as they re-up: Bzzzzt. Excell began to discuss conflicts with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) provisions, but then I mentioned that this alternative might seek simply to inactivate the voter status, and request that registrants re-activate them. Quote, "That doesn't cut it, either." There are no Washington statutory grounds for inactivating a voter, except for non-participation in elections. Beyond the legal impossibility, Excell described it as a logistical nightmare, and a wide open door to fraud--"Imagine us trying to verify 3 million registrations all at once!"
The Secretary of State could provide more specifics, but it's obvious from their prior statements and responses to this initiative that they hate this idea. It's likely illegal and wholly impractical. The people at the Evergreen Freedom Foundation ought to be ashamed of themselves for latching onto this terrible idea.

<< Home