It has occurred to me that the upcoming general election on November 8 just could become one of the most corrupt, in the sense of illegal voting, in history. It was my personal observation – while a county Republican Party official – of a number of instances of rather intense fraudulent ballot actions in elections this century. But, because of government agencies bowing to threats of lawsuit by more activist and communist/socialist leaning groups such as the ACLU, Urban League and the League of Women Voters, a number of Oklahoma boards that offer services to the public have now agreed to participate in voter registration, according to a story that appeared in the daily news(?)paper on July 31.
It seems to me that if we had a “loser pays” law in each state, it would tend to slow down this misuse of the judicial system (especially since these groups and others with nefarious intent), since they would have to pay all the costs of the defense, including time of witnesses. And the defense attorneys of those sued would be delighted to mount a blistering case. In such laws, it should also require that overly aggressive government prosecutors would be required to pay with their own funds if they lost, not the taxpayers. If memory serves me correctly, such a bill, or bills, have been filed in past legislative sessions, but the lawyer chair of the judicial committee would not allow a vote – even in committee – on the bill, thus killing it.
These legal threats are more of the stretching of the already wide-ranging laws enacted during the past several decades. Unfortunately, the presence of more activist and nonconstitutional-minded judges would make it rather likely that the plaintiffs would prevail in court. Thus we will have not only the tag agents making registration forms available, but welfare agencies possibly pushing their clients to register.
It appears that there is no attempt to determine if the individual is actually eligible by citizenship to vote. In fact, the current system in Oklahoma of a mailed in application leaves a rather large door open for false registration since there is no requirement for the election board to actually inquire about eligibility of applicants. Further, some of the precinct workers have been known to fail to demand the proof of identity, required in Oklahoma.
Further compounding the problem is the failure of most funeral homes to have available, and in the stack of papers to be signed, a form to cancel registration of a deceased person that has been prepared and is legal to be photocopied. A few years ago, an attempt was made by me to bring this form to the attention of the funeral homes, with just limited success. In my opinion, this should be a requirement along with the other forms used.
Also, there was a bill in the Legislature some time ago that would have required the Office of Vital Statistics to furnish the State Election Board with a weekly list of death notices. Whether it became law is not clear to me, but without severe penalties to employees for failure to comply, it would not gain much.
It seems that in some states, the corruption is rampant in the election of officials. For example, in the 2000 election, it was reported that in Florida at least 15,000 absentee ballots from oversees military personnel were not even counted. Add that to the hanging chad fiasco there, it is a wonder that a true tabulation was ever obtained, if it really was. It was considered likely that most of the military votes would have been favorable to Republican candidates.
In that same election, here in Oklahoma, the reported count of ballots in the three southern border precincts had as much as twenty percent more votes cast in the State House election than for president. Those precincts were in a different House district than the rest of the county, where the occupant of the seat just happened to be the Speaker of the House.