June 8, 2015

FEDERALIZING VOTING: NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio says the U.S. has a “democracy problem” because States generally define the terms of voting. This is essentially an echo of Hillary Clinton’s recent proposal to pass a federal law requiring automatic voter registration upon reaching age 18, restoring felons’ voting rights, and a mandatory 20-day early voting period.

“Our elections are governed by state law and for a long time I’ve believed we need to make a fundamental series of reforms,” de Blasio told CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “Let’s face it, a lot of the people in the political class have tried to discourage voter involvement and a lot of incumbents prefer a very small electorate.”

The mayor referred to several Republican governors who have signed laws requiring photo identification by voters, arguing the provision is a modest step to prevent fraud. Democrats like de Blasio counter that Republicans’ interests are more partisan: They want to discourage some people from voting altogether.

Congress has some authority, under the Elections Clause, to regulate the time, place and manner of congressional (not state) elections. But presumably the present GOP-controlled Congress would not sanction federalizing election law in the way proposed by DeBlasio and Clinton. For the moment, at least, the battle will remain in the federal courts, as liberals/progressives resort to their typical lawfare tactics in an attempt to block state laws designed to stop voting fraud.

Indeed, this is shaping up to be a big theme of the Democrats in 2016: Republicans are trying to keep minorities from voting by implementing anti-fraud reforms like voter ID and periodic purging of voter rolls for dead, illegal and other ineligible individuals. Unfortunately for the Democrats, there is no evidence whatsoever that such anti-fraud laws prevent minorities from voting. Indeed, voter turnout rates for blacks exceeded that for whites in 2008 and 2012, and the turnout of other minority groups has consistently increased, despite enactment of anti-fraud laws.

But according to the liberals/progressives, restricting voting by convicted felons and requiring photo ID are little more than modern-day Jim Crow laws, secretly aimed at blacks. It’s all about ginning up minority turnout in the presidential election, which is why Hillary’s top campaign lawyer, Marc Elias, has filed lawsuits challenging these ant-fraud laws ahead of the 2016 election in key battleground States such as North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Ironically, the litigation activities in which Mr. Elias is engaging is undoubtedly being “coordinated” by his chief employer, the 2016 Clinton campaign.  And it is now clear that the Elias lawfare is being bankrolled by George Soros. One might surmise from this that Soros is trying to “buy” a Clinton presidency by funding this litigation, and that it’s all being done with the knowledge, blessing and at least implicit coordination with the Clinton campaign. Ironically, this sort of “coordination” is the deadly sin of which the political left has been trying to convict Scott Walker for several years. It’s just another case of the progressive motto: forbidden for thee, but not for me.

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