Dems lament SCOTUS decision keeping voter registration rolls more honest

Yesterday, the  Supreme Court made an important decision affirming Ohio's efforts to keep voter registration rolls up to date.  The media left is describing it in apocalyptic terms, as if anything that prevents dead people from voting is an outrage.

Andrew Chung of Reuters describes it this way:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday revived Ohio's contentious policy of purging infrequent voters from registration rolls in a ruling powered by the five conservative justices and denounced by liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor as an endorsement of the disenfranchisement of minority and low-income Americans.

The Atlantic's article on the decision offers this hilarious description of the dissenting justices:

Justice Stephen Breyer dissented for himself and the three moderate liberals – Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor.  Sotomayor also wrote a short solo dissent.

Chuck Schumer is hysterical:

 

 

What this sort of hyperventilating misses is that a fraudulent vote cancels the vote of a genuine voter.  In other words, vote fraud disenfranchises Americans.  Failure to purge the rolls of those who have moved or died or given up on voting is an open invitation to fraud.  In a nation where approximately 10 percent of the population moves every year, and where millions of people are registered to vote in more than one state, purging the rolls of inactive voters who may be dead or have moved is necessary to prevent fraud.  When billions of dollars are spent on elections, leaving the voter rolls so open to cheating amounts to what is called an "attractive nuisance" in tort law – an invitation to bad or dangerous behavior.

Dan McLaughlin of NRO brings some sanity and perspective to the decision.

The Court was not asked to decide if states are allowed to purge names from the voter rolls.  Federal law requires them to do so.  That law, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, was written by congressional Democrats, passed with the votes of every single Democratic senator and 238 of the 252 Democrats in the House at the time (including Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, Steny Hoyer, and James Clyburn) and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.  The NVRA, also known as the "motor voter" law, expanded voter registration in a number of ways, but it also formally recognized the legitimate interests of states in periodically updating their lists of voters so they are limited to people actually still residing in a place where they are eligible to vote, and commanded them to do something about it:

NVRA requires States to "conduct a general program that makes a reasonable effort to remove the names" of voters who are ineligible "by reason of " death or change in residence. §20507(a)(4).


Bill Clinton signs the NVRA, with Cloward and Piven standing behind him.

Ohio's efforts to keep rolls accurate is a three-stage process:

First, individuals who failed to vote or engage in "voter activity" for two years are identified as potentially inactive.  "Voter activity" includes things like updating a registration, signing a petition, or updating a voting address with various state agencies.  It then sends a postcard asking to verify that the voter is still there.  NVRA dictates that if the voter sends back the postcard, that's the end of the matter: either they confirm they haven't moved, or they confirm they have.  NVRA also says that if there is no response, states have to wait at least two election cycles (typically four years) and can then remove the voter if they haven't voted or otherwise updated their address.  (Ohio extended the NVRA period slightly to four full years).  Thus, a voter registration only gets added to the NVRA-required purge if the voter hasn't been heard from at all, either by voting activity or confirming an address, for six full years.  Other states have similar programs, though with a variety of triggers.

The idea that voting ought to be effortless has always struck me as silly – a view that puts me in the minority among Americans, judging from what is in the media.  People think high voter turnout is an unalloyed good.  But if people are not paying attention to politics and don't bother to vote or respond to a notification for six years, that indicates they don't really care.  They are likely to choose the candidate who has better hair, or is taller, or who is of a preferred race, rather than someone who stands up for their own interests.  They are drive-by casual voters.  But their vote counts exactly the same as the vote of someone who reads the voter guides, keeps up with the news, and carefully chooses whom to vote for.

Nobody is being disenfranchised!  People are just being asked to take the time to maintain their registration by responding to a postcard.

Allowing illegal voting, on the other hand, disenfranchises real voters.

 

 

Yesterday, the  Supreme Court made an important decision affirming Ohio's efforts to keep voter registration rolls up to date.  The media left is describing it in apocalyptic terms, as if anything that prevents dead people from voting is an outrage.

Andrew Chung of Reuters describes it this way:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday revived Ohio's contentious policy of purging infrequent voters from registration rolls in a ruling powered by the five conservative justices and denounced by liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor as an endorsement of the disenfranchisement of minority and low-income Americans.

The Atlantic's article on the decision offers this hilarious description of the dissenting justices:

Justice Stephen Breyer dissented for himself and the three moderate liberals – Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor.  Sotomayor also wrote a short solo dissent.

Chuck Schumer is hysterical:

 

 

What this sort of hyperventilating misses is that a fraudulent vote cancels the vote of a genuine voter.  In other words, vote fraud disenfranchises Americans.  Failure to purge the rolls of those who have moved or died or given up on voting is an open invitation to fraud.  In a nation where approximately 10 percent of the population moves every year, and where millions of people are registered to vote in more than one state, purging the rolls of inactive voters who may be dead or have moved is necessary to prevent fraud.  When billions of dollars are spent on elections, leaving the voter rolls so open to cheating amounts to what is called an "attractive nuisance" in tort law – an invitation to bad or dangerous behavior.

Dan McLaughlin of NRO brings some sanity and perspective to the decision.

The Court was not asked to decide if states are allowed to purge names from the voter rolls.  Federal law requires them to do so.  That law, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, was written by congressional Democrats, passed with the votes of every single Democratic senator and 238 of the 252 Democrats in the House at the time (including Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, Steny Hoyer, and James Clyburn) and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.  The NVRA, also known as the "motor voter" law, expanded voter registration in a number of ways, but it also formally recognized the legitimate interests of states in periodically updating their lists of voters so they are limited to people actually still residing in a place where they are eligible to vote, and commanded them to do something about it:

NVRA requires States to "conduct a general program that makes a reasonable effort to remove the names" of voters who are ineligible "by reason of " death or change in residence. §20507(a)(4).


Bill Clinton signs the NVRA, with Cloward and Piven standing behind him.

Ohio's efforts to keep rolls accurate is a three-stage process:

First, individuals who failed to vote or engage in "voter activity" for two years are identified as potentially inactive.  "Voter activity" includes things like updating a registration, signing a petition, or updating a voting address with various state agencies.  It then sends a postcard asking to verify that the voter is still there.  NVRA dictates that if the voter sends back the postcard, that's the end of the matter: either they confirm they haven't moved, or they confirm they have.  NVRA also says that if there is no response, states have to wait at least two election cycles (typically four years) and can then remove the voter if they haven't voted or otherwise updated their address.  (Ohio extended the NVRA period slightly to four full years).  Thus, a voter registration only gets added to the NVRA-required purge if the voter hasn't been heard from at all, either by voting activity or confirming an address, for six full years.  Other states have similar programs, though with a variety of triggers.

The idea that voting ought to be effortless has always struck me as silly – a view that puts me in the minority among Americans, judging from what is in the media.  People think high voter turnout is an unalloyed good.  But if people are not paying attention to politics and don't bother to vote or respond to a notification for six years, that indicates they don't really care.  They are likely to choose the candidate who has better hair, or is taller, or who is of a preferred race, rather than someone who stands up for their own interests.  They are drive-by casual voters.  But their vote counts exactly the same as the vote of someone who reads the voter guides, keeps up with the news, and carefully chooses whom to vote for.

Nobody is being disenfranchised!  People are just being asked to take the time to maintain their registration by responding to a postcard.

Allowing illegal voting, on the other hand, disenfranchises real voters.