We are hearing a lot about election integrity. A recent poll by ABC News highlights the importance of fixing our election laws. According to the poll, 30 percent of Democrats, 20 percent of Independents, and 13 percent of Republicans are “very confident” in our election process. This is not a new issue. In 2005 the Carter-Baker Commission issued a report proposing a uniform system of requiring a photo ID and identified a fraud risk with widespread absentee voting. Several states today are addressing voter integrity and are changing or are proposing changes to increase the public’s confidence in our elections. Requiring a voter ID has been fiercely opposed by the Democrats with allegations of voter suppression and racist motives comparing it to Jim Crow Laws. When considering rules for voting it is useful to see how we compare to the rest of the world. In the case of voter ID, 46 of the 47 European countries require a government issued photo ID to vote.In the case of absentee voting, 35 of the 47 do not allow absentee voting for those living in country. This includes Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, France, and Italy. Another 10 (bringing the total to 45) require a voter ID to pick up an absentee ballot. Both Canada and Mexico require a photo ID. Ironically our Federal Government is considering laws that would prevent states from protecting their election from fraud. Bill H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021, would require a state to receive preapproval from the DOJ or the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia before making changes that would affect voting rights. It puts Washington in control of what is typically a state function. Bill H.R.1, the “For the People Act of 2021” would: prohibit the use of voter ID, expand voter registration (e.g., automatic and same-day registration), voting access (e.g., vote-by-mail and early voting), and limit the removal of voters from voter rolls. The bill also requires states to establish independent redistricting commissions and establishes a National Commission to Protect United States Democratic Institutions in the Legislative Branch. It requires a code of conduct for Supreme Court Justices (the Legislative branch putting restrictions on the Judiciary) and requires the President, the Vice President, and certain candidates for those offices to disclose 10 years of tax returns. In this writer’s opinion these are serious infringements on our Constitution, specifically the 10th Amendment (limit of federal powers) and Articles 1,2, and 3 (separation of powers in the three branches of government). To sum this up most voters have little confidence in our elections, our election laws are some of the weakest in the world, and the present Congress, controlled by Democrats, do not want them fixed. Democrats are politicizing the process by loudly calling the 80% of voters who want voter ID, “Racist”. Government sites and Imprimis are sources used for those interested.
Joe Grant, Wiscasset