It’s Time to Clean Up Our Elections

REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk/File Photo

Ken Blackwell Former Ohio Secretary of State
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Despite the massive media attention given to the claim that Russia attempted to influence last year’s election, the greatest threat to American democracy is vote fraud at home.

Counties across the country have more people registered to vote than they have residents eligible to do so.  Some jurisdictions have on their rolls voters who’ve reached their 200th birthday and beyond.  Thousands of non-citizens have been found to be registered to vote and across the nation that number may well reach into the millions.

No wonder President Donald Trump established the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, on which I serve.  Liberals and conservatives may argue over which government roles are essential, but everyone should agree that protecting Americans’ right to choose their leaders is the most important one.

Well, apparently not. With the nation facing evidence of serious election fraud, the American Civil Liberties Union could have sued governments which weren’t cleaning up their voter rolls and ensuring that only eligible voters cast ballots.  Thus, would the organization be living up to its name and defending Americans’ liberties.

But no.  Instead, the organization has sued the president’s advisory commission.  It turns out that worrying about fraudulent ballots “is all a sham to disenfranchise more voters.”  Well, only the dead ones.

Seriously, real disenfranchisement occurs when people vote illegally, diluting the participation of those who have earned, and often fought for, the right of self-government.

One can’t help suspect that the ACLU wants to reduce requirements for voting for the same reason that other groups want to eliminate restrictions on immigration and loosen barriers to citizenship.  What better way to dilute the vote of citizens and thereby seize control of government?  If the Left can’t win support from the public, they figure they will just change the public.

Thankfully, the ACLU is not the only group active in the courtroom. So is the group founded to be the antidote to it – the American Civil Rights Union.  And the ACRU is busy trying to get election officials to protect the sanctity of Americans’ votes.

ACRU’s litigation strategy began four years ago, when it began quietly to sue counties to comply with the federal law requiring them to maintain accurate voter rolls.  Things are not so quiet now, however, and the Left has brought in the big guns, namely George Soros and his big-spending organizations because they understand that accurate voter rolls are the death knell to vote fraud.

Later this month, the ACRU is confronting Broward County, Florida at the federal district court in Miami.  Broward’s election officials see nothing wrong with the fact that they have far more people registered to vote than actually live there.  Although Broward officials claim to follow state requirements, only 19 registrants were removed from the rolls over the last five years for not being citizens – in a county where 13 percent of the population holds foreign citizenship. Something obviously isn’t right.

This historic trial will set the stage for how the value of Americans’ votes will be protected.

Keep in mind that every name that appears on a voter registration roll is a name that can be voted – either by that individual or by someone else.  The latter is called voter fraud.

Safeguarding our self-governing republic is important whether one is on the right or the left. Philosophy shouldn’t matter.  Citizens have a right to participate in politics, make their views known and choose their leaders.  And to do so without having their votes diluted with ballots being cast by those who are not eligible to vote or who have long ago departed this earth.

The American people desperately need someone to help protect their liberties.  And it’s pretty obvious it won’t be the ACLU.  Thankfully, other organizations like the ACRU are working hard on Americans’ behalf.  Democracy requires not just robust debate, but honest vote counting as well.

The integrity of our electoral system is paramount, and the ACLU should care about that instead of harassing those of us asked by the president to help assess the problem and propose solutions.

Indeed, the starting point for any discussion should be to learn the truth about voter rolls across the nation.  A good place to begin will be the federal courthouse in Miami.

Kenneth Blackwell, a former mayor of Cincinnati and Ohio Secretary of State, is a Policy Board member and Senior Fellow for the American Civil Rights Union.