Readers comments 8-11-17
The voting process
Thank you to Ellen Taylor as spokesperson for the League of Women Voters for pointing out the bipartisan concern for election integrity.
The proposed bill she cited was introduced by two Democrats and states “existing voter registration systems can be inaccurate, costly, inaccessible and confusing, with damaging effects on voter participation.”
The first meeting of the advisory Election Integrity Commission was convened last month, and two of the commissioners wrote an article in The Wall Street Journal stating, “there was near unanimity among the commission’s bipartisan members.”
This observation gives me hope that there can be cooperation as the nation’s voting systems are studied and analyzed for fairness to all voters, accuracy in each state, and integrity in every aspect. The commissioners concluded, “American people value truth. They know that the commission’s work won’t harm a single legitimate voter.”
In her letter Ms. Taylor stated that the League of Women Voters endorsed the proposed Automatic Voter Registration Act of 2017. Her letter is identical to the LWV’s website statement except she omitted the controversial point that, “under this legislation, when eligible voters interact with government agencies, they will automatically be signed up to vote unless they decline.”
The proposed bill actually only involves certain government agencies that provide service or assistance, such as welfare, food stamps, low-income housing, Medicaid, motor vehicles, firearm control, public high schools and colleges, veterans and social security, among others.
Under the proposed law, all of the people who are currently listed in the databases of these agencies and who are ostensibly eligible, will automatically be registered to vote in Federal elections.
The new voters will be notified by mail or email that they have been automatically registered, and they must affirmatively decline if they know they are ineligible, or if they simply want to decline.
If the election board does not hear back in 30 days, their names will remain in the election database and they are eligible to vote with full voting rights.
Interestingly, the bill also provides that college students would be automatically registered to vote upon enrollment on campus or online, and students are categorized as being disproportionately impacted by existing voting systems as are people with disabilities and racial and ethnic minorities.
I think that the LWV will agree with me that if voters want a complete, accurate, totally unbiased picture of this proposed legislation, they should read it for themselves at congress.gov and search HR 2876 or S.1353.