Today, millions of Californians are expected to exercise their right to vote. Voter franchise is the key component in our representative government; its sanctity should be paramount. Yet since the rise of big city machine politics and mass immigration in the 19th century the use of voter fraud to influence elections has threatened this fundamental right. This threat has turned into a full-fledged frontal assault in our time. More disturbing than the mass media's refusal to broach the topic is the determination of politicians to continually flout, not only the people's will, but to also the 15th amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing the right to vote.
Still vivid in our memories are the attempts by the Florida Supreme Court, DNC lawyers and local Democratic officials to tip the 2000 presidential election in candidate Al Gore's favor. Dimpled and hanging chads filled the American conscience for months as the Left, backed by countless media pundits, wailed over the "disenfranchisement" and "intent" of the voters. Noticeably lacking was their concern when it came to instances of abuse or outright fraud that favored their candidate. The 1,400 military votes thrown out in Florida, the media calling the state for Gore one hour before polls closed in the heavily Republican panhandle and the ruling by the Democrat-packed Florida Supreme Court are only some of the examples. Nationwide, the use of immigration policy and the failure to enforce immigration laws were the key to giving Gore his popular vote win. The 2000 election was not an isolated incident; efforts to undermine the electoral process through the nation's immigration policies were a staple of the Clinton years.
A report issued by the Justice Dept. in 2000 detailed a program run under the auspices of then Vice President Gore's "Reinventing Government" project to streamline government services. In a successful effort to clear a backlog of 1.2 million applicants, the INS engaged in this crash program called "Citizenship USA" to naturalize the immigrants between October 1995 and September 1996, not coincidentally, just in time for the presidential election. Douglas Farbrother, an official on Gore's team, is quoted in the report saying he "believed that the (citizenship) program had a deadline that was directly connected to the upcoming election." The Clinton administration bypassed the customary FBI background check for these new citizens demonstrating that creating new Democrat voters was a much higher priority than national security. It is estimated that tens of thousands of applications were approved without FBI review. The Justice Dept. report documented 1,000 cases in Miami; 1,300 cases in Chicago; and an astonishing 2,500 cases in Los Angeles.
The politicization of the INS continued in the 2000 election. As documented by journalist Joseph Farah ,on Nov. 6, 2000, (one day before the national election) the California Democratic Party sent thousands (upwards of 4 million by some estimates) of mailers out to immigrants who had citizenship requests before the INS. These non-citizens were informed, in both English and Spanish, that they were registered to vote as a Democrat and given a special identification card to "help...voting go more smoothly." Follow up investigations by the press pointed to the possible use of INS records to commit this massive voter fraud. How many of the recipients took advantage of the generous offer made by the Democrats is unknown, but based on the estimates it is quite possible that Gore's much touted popular vote win (by just under a million votes) could all be attributed to this scam alone. Flaws in the system continue to be used and expanded upon to give the Left an unfair advantage in elections and to undermine the legitimacy of our most fundamental American right.
Now, thanks to the political pandering of Gray Davis, millions of illegal aliens will soon have the opportunity to take part in the electoral process. The issuance of driver's licenses to all Californians regardless of immigration status has opened up the door to voter registration fraud and weakened the sanctity of the franchise. As California election officials have admitted, an alien who applies for a license need only lie about their immigration status and they are able to register. Thanks to the Motor Voter law, this affront is possible in 13 other states with similar statutes. As a recent Washington Times article points out, a "stealth amnesty" is underway by the states that accept Matricula ID's, non-regulated ID’s issued by the government of Mexico, and grant driver’s licenses to illegals. A Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) report reveals that "The Matricula card is accepted as a valid form of identification by police departments, banks and 12 states for driver's license applications." This disregard for immigration law has no positive impact for Americans except those who seek to grant Democrats additional power. Moreover, this aberration of constitutional law is tantamount to mailing absentee ballots for any future election to Iran, Syria, France, Germany, North Korea, or anywhere else.
In Massachusetts, where an estimated 150,000 illegals reside, local Democrats have sponsored a bill similar to the California law. Democratic State Rep. Eugene O'Flaherly who represents Chelsea, a city with a large illegal population, is the chief sponsor of the bill. He and those who support the measure claim the move would improve public safety by encouraging illegals to obtain insurance—the same argument used by Davis and other proponents in California. They do not mention the added benefit of increasing the number of registered Democrats. In the last gubernatorial election, Republican Mitt Romney beat out his Democratic rival by a mere 107,000 votes; this bill would quickly remedy that nasty staple of democracy.
Another method in use by liberal state officials is the unwillingness to require an ID at the polling place. In 2002 Congress passed the Help America Vote Act, designed to correct some of the irregularities found in the 2000 election. Among the reforms included was a provision that required ID for first time voters. The bill passed 92-2 in the Senate. The two standouts: New York Democrats Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer.
Explaining her vote, Clinton said the ID provision would "disproportionately affect ethnic and racial minorities, recently naturalized American citizens, language minorities, the poor, the homeless, the millions of eligible New York voters who do not have a driver's license, and those individuals who otherwise would have exercised their right to vote without these new provisions." Considering the bill allowed for the use of Social Security numbers, pay stubs (including government issued checks), utility bills and other forms of verification, her real concern seems to be placed squarely on opposition to the prevention of voter fraud by the large illegal population in her state. Forty five percent of Democratic primary voters in New York were minorities, a group Clinton clearly pandered to in making her decision.
Among the special interest groups that oppose requiring ID to vote: The League of Women Voters, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, La Raza, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
In Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony Williams gave readers of the Washington Post an insight into the movement to grant non-citizens the right to vote. Saying he is "committed to expanding the franchise," he stated that in order to grant a greater voice to those he sees as underrepresented, that a new standard for voter eligibility is needed, and regardless of what that standard becomes, "it isn't citizenship."
Recently the Republican controlled legislature in Arizona passed a bill that would have demanded some form of identification to vote, but Democrat Governor Janet Napolitano vetoed the bill in front of a meeting of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials to thunderous applause. In an attempt to justify the move, Napolitano made vague references to old Jim Crow-era laws such as poll taxes that were designed to disenfranchise Southern blacks in a disingenuous attempt to link the measure with those racist policies. At a press conference following the veto she suggested "this bill is not designed to prevent voter fraud, I'll tell you that." On the contrary, it would seem her veto was intended to perpetuate voter fraud.
Similar measures have been vetoed over the past few years by Democratic governors in states like New Hampshire, Kansas and Wisconsin, with the governors citing the alleged "chilling effect" presenting ID (including such easily obtained items as utility bills or bank statements) would have on potential voters. These politicians hide behind the rhetoric of identity politics in order to enable the ease with which citizens and non-citizens alike commit voter fraud under the present system.
Following Gray Davis’ lead, Napolitano has also been pushing a measure to grant driver's licenses to illegals, once more subverting the system to play into the hands of those who seek to eliminate our borders. Because of Napolitano's refusal to enact common sense reforms, state Republicans and other concerned citizens have begun a petition drive seeking to add a referendum to the 2004 ballot. Called the "Protect Arizona Now" initiative, the referendum would ask Arizona to end all but emergency public aid to illegal immigrants and require proof of citizenship before being able to vote. A recent poll conducted by Arizona State University found 70 percent of registered voters support the measure. Republican State Rep. Russell Pearce told the Arizona Republic "I'm surprised it's that low. People have been absolutely overwhelming in support of this. They understand that this is...about fraud. We are simply saying, 'Once you've come in through that back door, you can't get taxpayer money through welfare and you can't vote.' "
The poll found broad support that cut across racial and party lines. Even many naturalized Latinos favored the idea, recognizing that those who refuse to play by the rules detract from the gains made by law-abiding Hispanics. It should be noted that not only Democrats play this game. Napolitano's press secretary commented, "Arizona doesn't need this divisive initiative, and the governor joins with (Republican) Senators (John) McCain, (Jon) Kyl and the rest of the (Arizona) congressional delegation in opposing it."
Additionally, Arizona Republican Congressmen Jeff Flake, Jim Kolbe and Sen. John McCain are sponsoring a "guest workers" bill that would create new type of visa for migrant workers, allowing hundreds of thousands of illegals currently working in America to stay here simply by registering for the amnesty and paying a $1,500 fee. Such a law would legitimize these immigrants and grant them access to government programs -- and if Davis, Napolitano and other politicians pushing for licenses for non-citizens have their way, the opportunity to vote, as well. Arizona's Republican delegation are playing into the hands of those seeking to increase probable Democratic voters not only by supporting Napolitano's veto but by pushing for this blanket amnesty. Their opposition to the "Protect Arizona Now" initiative serves the interest of Democrats seeking to block reforms against voter fraud.
Angry Arizonans have not taken their actions lightly. Kolbe's brother Walter has been vocal in his disagreement over his brother's support of the guest worker amnesty and his brother's opposition to the referendum question. Walter has called the guest worker bill "amnesty on the installment plan," and says it is "a slap in the face to people who struggled so hard to come to America legally, lead productive lives, raise families and proudly become citizens of the United States of America." Other Arizona citizens recently expressed their dissent with Kolbe by dumping 22 bags of trash at the congressman's Sierra Vista office. The refuse was collected from trash left by illegals in their trek across the border, proof of the growing problems created by this illegal immigrant invasion.
Even the Bush Administration is contributing to the opening for mass voter disenfranchisement. Recently the Treasury Department handed down a decision allowing banks to accept Matriculas under the Patriot Act, legislation enacted in part to make tracing money to terrorist organizations easier. In Congressional testimony last week spokesmen for both the FBI and Department of Homeland Security backed off previously asserted national security concerns with issuing Matricula cards to illegals. Granting legitimacy to these flawed ID's opens the door wider to massive voter fraud in states granting driver’s licenses to non-citizens, further undermining an already besieged franchise.
The current parity among Democrat and Republican voters evidenced in the 2000 elections and more recently by Zogby polling indicating a continued 50/50 split among Democrat and Republican voters is a political reality. It is clear that the recent push to provide back door access to the polls for illegal immigrants is being done to tip the scales in the Democrat's favor. That they are being aided and abetted by some members of the Republican Party is confounding. Hopefully clear-headed, non-partisan Americans will recognize the power grab for what it is and move to stop the give away of the greatest right we have by exercising that very right itself.