Magazine article Insight on the News

Motor Voter Bill Steering Us Wrong

Magazine article Insight on the News

Motor Voter Bill Steering Us Wrong

Article excerpt

Back when the people's democracy" of the Soviet Union still kicked and thrashed, its commissars loved to boast about the massive voter turnouts their phony elections always produced. It didn't matter that only one political party was allowed and anyone who didn't show up at the polls to cast his meaningless ballot was likely to spend retirement in Siberia. To the commissars, the nearly universal turnout was the pride of their political system.

The Soviet commissars are gone, but their souls go marching on. For the past couple of years, Democrats in Congress have sought to enact a law that they claim would vastly increase voter turnout in our own elections and thereby reinvigorate American democracy. As it happens, their so-called motor voter bill would also pretty much lock the Democrats into permanent political power, but that's a feature the commissars of Capitol Hill would prefer you didn't think about.

The motor voter bill passed the Congress last year but fell to a veto by President Bush. Even with the help of a few not-so-stalwart Republicans, the Democrats failed to override his veto. Now we have a new president but the same bill. It recently passed the House and will no doubt speedily pass the full Senate and arrive on President Clinton's desk. Clinton has vowed to sign it, so it almost certainly will become law.

The bill requires states to allow citizens to register to vote when they undertake such mundane functions as getting a driver's license. Hence its nickname. But that's not the only occasion when citizens will be able to hot rod into the voting booth. Voter-registration also is to be permitted when one signs up for welfare and unemployment benefits, as well as by mail, at schools and libraries and when getting a marriage or hunting license. About the only place one won't able to register will be the state penitentiary, but the Democrats probably will get around to that.

Opponents say easier registration will result in massive voter fraud because it won't be possible to check out where registrants live or even whether they're U.S. citizens. In fact, the minority report on the bill in the 102nd Congress cited a number of cases in which illegal aliens already had voted in Florida and California. In the latter state in 1982, some 45 percent of bilingual ballots in nine counties were cast by illegals.

In California also, aliens already have nearly bankrupted the state through welfare and other benefits that state or federal laws grant them. …

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