I, like many other Americans, have spent the past eight years trying to balance my love of my country and my hatred for its government. As a Floridian, I get to pull double duty on the land love, government hatred front. But surely this flatland that I love would learn from its past election season mistakes. Right?
Yeah, not so much:
State elections officials will resume enforcement of a controversial state law that requires Floridians to have their identification match up with a state or federal database in order to register to vote.
Secretary of State Kurt Browning sent notice to the state’s 67 supervisors of elections on Friday that the 2006 law, which has been on hold for the last year pending court rulings, would take effect again Sept. 8.
The result is that voters whose identification doesn’t match with state files on Election Day will be given a provisional ballot and two days to prove their identity for their ballot to count.
Voting rights activists, who had unsuccessfully challenged the constitutionality of the law, blasted the decision, saying it allows the state to rely on what they consider error-prone databases in the month before voter registration ends on Oct. 6.
Browning acknowledged that the court case prompted the state to make changes to its voter match process during the 2008 legislative session but he said the voting rights proponents are now being sore losers.
”They just don’t want to admit the system might just work” so they are ”loose with the facts,” he said.
The law, passed by the Republican-led legislature in 2005, requires Floridians registering to vote to supply a drivers license number or the last four digits of their social security number. Proponents of the law say it was needed to prevent voter fraud.
It gets worse. The law was changed this year so that county election officials will have to scan in voter registration applications to see if they match the database. If an application doesn’t match, it will be quickly reviewed for typos and, assuming there aren’t any, the voter will be contacted for “more information”.
To summarize, a state that has notorious issues in holding a lawful election is putting all of its eggs in the basket of sub par machinery. Let me predict now that thousands of voters will be incorrectly labeled as felons (and most of these individuals will be minorities). The elderly and disabled- many of whom don’t have valid IDs because they don’t drive- will find out they’re out of luck on election day. And we’ll screw things up well enough that the nation will spend another four years wanting to secede us from the Union.
And where is all of this voting fraud taking place that these legislators are so afraid of? When was the last time you heard a major news story about a wave of voting fraud caused by wanton citizens and their improper identirication? Can’t think of one? Now think of the last time you heard a major news story about voting fraud prevention measures screwing up an entire election. That one probably comes to mind immediately.
There is an outside chance that Ohio will still screw things up more than we do, considering their election machines were almost destroyed by McAfee Anti-virus.
(cross posted from Moue Magazine)