Monday, September 27, 2010

Register To Vote By Cell Phone

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the state of Indiana's Voter ID law is totally useless if you don't even bother to verify the people who register to voter are U.S. citizens. Indiana already allows persons to register to vote online. Now the state allows you to register to vote by cell phone. WTHR reports on this latest "high-tech" development:

Indiana has a new high-tech way residents can register to vote for the Nov. 2 elections - using Internet-capable mobile phones.

The state has offered voter registration online since July and announced the online service for cell phones on Sept. 21. Residents have to have a valid Indiana driver's license or state-issued ID to use either registration service.

The mobile phone service allows new voters to register. Existing voters can update their registration information.
The problem of registering non-citizens to vote began popping up after the federal government forced the Motor Voter law on the states, which requires motor vehicle agencies and welfare agencies to offer voter registration services to people who use their services. Immigration attorneys will tell you it is not unusual to encounter permanent residents seeking to become naturalized U.S. citizens who were illegally registered to vote at a BMV branch or a welfare office. A non-citizen can be deported under federal law for voting illegally in U.S. elections, although the law is rarely enforced. With the laws on absentee balloting increasingly being relaxed, it becomes easier for persons illegally registered to vote to cast votes without fear of having their votes challenged.

Many non-citizens have driver's licenses so it's a piece of cake for them to register the vote. The law relies entirely on the honesty of the person registering to vote. The registrant is required to state under penalties of perjury they are a U.S. citizen. One might wonder why a BMV worker or welfare worker would offer the opportunity to register to vote to someone who is obviously not a U.S. citizen, but it would actually violate federal law for them to make such additional inquiries. If everyone isn't offered the opportunity to register to vote when they visit a BMV branch or a welfare office, you can count on the ACLU filing a lawsuit against the state as happened in Indiana. The law requires government workers to offer the service to everyone who walks in the door; it's up to the person to tell the worker they are not a U.S. citizen. Some states, like Arizona, require a person to provide proof of their U.S. citizenship, such as a birth certificate showing birth in the U.S. or proof of naturalization, in order to register to vote. Indiana is not one of those states. As we learned from the 2008 presidential election, it is possible to be elected president of the United States without proving you are actually constitutionally eligible to serve so it should come as no surprise that it is no problem to become a voter in U.S. elections regardless of whether you are a citizen.

Secretary of State Todd Rokita has been one of the nation's biggest proponents of Voter ID as a means of reducing voter fraud. One might want to ask Rokita why he has no problem with Indiana laws that make it so easy for people to illegally register to vote, and to illegally cast absentee ballots in this state, two forms of voter fraud that are far more likely to occur than voter impersonation.

1 comment:

dcrutch said...

The YMCA should not check your membership any more? Theatres don't need to check tickets? Carmel school buses can assume the kids will be well behaved? Oil well drilling platforms don't need to have rigid inspections? Goverment spending doesn't need to be questioned?

When do we stop the delusional government idea that everyone is going to do the right thing? When do we include inspections, verification, cross-checks, and audits in the cost of programs because the users are common human beings- subject to greed and cheating and looking for the easy way out like many others.

It's not just voter registration by cellphone, it's darn near everything.

When do we learn?