Rep. Elijah Cummings needs someone in his office that knows election law to write his next letter attacking the Tea Party. This week, Cummings sent a nastygram letter to the Houston based Tea Party group True the Vote. The organization has been working to clean up the voter rolls of dead and ineligible voters. Apparently this sort of civic minded volunteerism rubbed Cummings the wrong way. The Baltimore Sun reported his threats to a group of law-abiding private citizens:
In a letter to Texas-based True the Vote, the Baltimore Democrat argues that the group and its affiliates have been unsuccessful in identifying people who are incorrectly registered. Instead, Cummings argues, the groups are jeopardizing to disenfranchise people who are correctly registered to vote.
“At some point, an effort to challenge voter registrations by the thousands without any legitimate basis may be evidence of illegal voter suppression,” Cummings wrote. “If these efforts are intentional, politically-motivated, and widespread across multiple states, they could amount to a criminal conspiracy to deny legitimate voters their constitutional rights.”
Cummings needs to get himself a lawyer who knows more about election law and less about playing the race card. First of all, there is no federal statute which mentions “voter suppression.” That is rhetoric used by the left to chill legitimate political activity that doesn’t help the left. Secondly, as reported yesterday here at PJ Tatler, True the Vote is discovering individuals who voted twice in federal elections. Perhaps Cummings objects to this discovery for reasons we can only speculate. Third, federal law allows citizens to bring cases under Section 8 of Motor Voter (a law Cummings supported) to force states and counties to remove dead and ineligible voters. Perhaps Cummings is against the removal of dead voters, again, for reasons we can only speculate.
Cummings makes up law when he says if the effort to remove voters “are intentional, politically-motivated, and widespread across multiple states, they could amount to a criminal conspiracy.” Balderdash. There is no such law. In fact, the effort to remove dead voters are intentional and widespread across multiple states. They aren’t politically motivated, but they are motivated by having clean elections.
Cummings, from his Congressional perch, then demanded private information from the group without any legal authority. Such are the ways of those in power who think they can intimidate private citizens.
Once upon a time, Congressmen would applaud civic minded Americans who worked to eliminate lawbreaking in American elections. Cummings, apparently, has a different point of view. He would rather make hollow threats against law abiding Americans attempting to clean up voters rolls with 2,500,000 ineligible voters infesting them.
True the Vote invited Rep. Cummings to actually participate in the training they offer. If he declines the opportunity to actually learn the truth about what True the Vote does, we’ll know for sure who is really “politically motivated.”