Overall, all sixteen of these states received notice from me that they have violated Section 8 of Motor Voter because they have failed to maintain the integrity of their voting rolls. In the next 20 days, they will have the opportunity to explain why the data they reported to the EAC are wrong, or what has changed in the meantime. I will report on the responses here.
But if they are inadequate, private citizens may do what the DOJ refuses to: bring lawsuits to clean up the voter rolls before November 2, 2010.
Enforcement of Section 8 has become a bogeyman among some activist groups. They claim enforcement of the law is a sinister plot to deny the vote to eligible voters. Unquestionably, the hostility of Julie Fernandes originates in this fable. They crow that those concerned about integrity are engaged in “voter suppression.” They threaten to enlist the Justice Department to badger law-abiding citizens, apparently unaware that no such federal law exists pertaining to “voter suppression.” DOJ efforts to conjure legal theories of “voter suppression” have been met with embarrassing setbacks in the federal courts.
There are laws against voter “intimidation,” of course. But with the corrupt dismissal of the New Black Panther voter intimidation case, Eric Holder has set the bar very high on that score. Contrary to the claims of some, real legal standards define voter intimidation. Under no rational and credible legal theory do efforts to enforce Section 8 constitute voter intimidation. Shouting racial slurs and brandishing a weapon at voters? Yes, that’s intimidation. Making sure dead people aren’t on the voter rolls? No, that isn’t.
Some claim voter fraud doesn’t exist. They would be smart to reassess this myth. I have previously written at PJM that we have a long history of voter fraud, even if it doesn’t often affect election outcomes. I have cataloged dozens of instances of voter fraud at my blog, electionlawcenter.com, in just the last two months.
To opponents of effective list maintenance, Section 8 exists to threaten states who conduct robust purging programs. When Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez said that the DOJ is actually performing Section 8 functions, it was to advise states not to clean up voter rolls — as compared with my aim of enforcing the law against states who neglect to clean up the rolls. A nicely played trick of the tongue on his part.
The American story has always been about ordinary people making a better country on their own, without government. When government intentionally abdicates its responsibility, as the DOJ has done on this and other matters, it is up to private citizens to get the job done.
Whether it is the failure to secure American borders, or the failure to secure the integrity of our elections, the federal government is failing. Through the work and support of private citizens, hopefully only living, breathing, eligible voters will be casting ballots in November.