Today’s Washington Free Beacon posted an article about the Governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, vetoing a bill that would require investigations of jurisdictions in the state whose voter rolls contain more registered voters than citizens who are eligible to vote. Now I don’t claim to be a genius at math, but it seems to me that a jurisdiction that has more registered voters than citizens who are eligible to vote might have a problem with its voter rolls.
The article reports:
The bill, first introduced by Republican state Sen. Mark D. Obenshain, was prompted by a report that shed light on eight Virginia counties that had more registered voters on their voter rolls than eligible voters.
Obenshain’s bill would require “the local electoral boards to direct the general registrars to investigate the list of persons voting at an election whenever the number of persons voting at any election in a county or city exceeds the number of persons registered to vote in that county or city,” according to its summary. “The Department of Elections is required to provide certain data to any general registrar conducting such an investigation for the registrar’s use during the investigation. The local electoral boards are required to make reports of the findings to the State Board. These reports are public documents.”
Why would any elected official of either party be okay with more registered voters in a jurisdiction than there are citizens eligible to vote? I would hope that all elected officials would support the idea of honest elections.
Governor McAuliffe made the following statement when he vetoed the bill:
“By requiring 133 individual general registrars to conduct an investigation of voters under undefined standards, this bill raises serious constitutional questions,” McAuliffe said in a statement. “It could expose eligible and properly registered Virginians to the risk of improper disenfranchisement.”
“Further, Senate Bill 1105 would increase the administrative burden on local election officials. Rather than imposing unnecessary investigative requirements on those officials, we should focus attention and resources on the Commonwealth’s proven and efficient methods of list maintenance, which serve as a national model.”
At some point we need to remind people that any illegal vote disenfranchises the vote of a legal voter. Keeping honest voting rolls is not an unnecessary investigative requirement–it is the job of the election officials.
The article reminds us of some discoveries during the last election:
The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), an Indiana-based group that litigates to protect election integrity, released the report last year that sparked Obenshain’s bill.
PILF’s report found 1,046 aliens who were illegally registered to vote in a small sample of eight Virginia counties that responded to its public records requests.
Logan Churchwell, spokesman for the group, said it is reasonable to ask questions about voter rolls with more voters than citizens.
“It is entirely reasonable to ask questions when a voting jurisdiction has more registered voters than citizens,” Churchwell told the Washington Free Beacon. “The Justice Department for the past eight years refused to perform similar studies using powers it was already vested with. Virginia lawmakers and private parties like PILF were forced to pick up the slack. It’s astonishing to see a sitting governor calculate political blowback when voter roll integrity is at stake.”
“As PILF previously reported, these eight problematic jurisdictions had more than 1,000 alien voters removed from the rolls in years past with roughly 20 percent casting ballots before being caught.”
“There’s smoke, fire, and damage right in front of Governor McAullife’s eyes. When will he stop playing politics with Virginians’ voting rights?”
Honest elections are the backbone of our representative republic. We need to make sure our elections follow the basic rules of common sense. The number of registered voters in an area should not exceed the number of eligible voters. If it does, something is wrong.