Thursday, October 9, 2008

Even Not Counting the "Inactive" Registered Voters We Still Have 92% "Active" Voter Registration in Indianapolis

In Friday's Indianapolis Star, Tim Evans reports that Matt Tusing of the Indiana Secretary of State's Office indicated that the 105% registration figure in Marion County wasn't that troubling because it includes 88,210 "inactive voters" who have failed to vote since 2004. Tusing says that most counties, but not Marion, purged those inactive voters and the failure to do so was a violation of Indiana and federal law.

Okay, I'll take the bait and do the math. The current figure on registered voters in Indianapolis is approximately 680,000. Subtract out the 88,210 "inactive voters" who should have been purged according to the Secretary of State's Office. That leaves 591,790 registered voters after the "inactive voters" are discounted. (Though I'm not sure why I shouldn't worried about the names of 88,210 "inactive voters" being on the voter registration list but let's continue.) According to census estimates there are 644,197 people in Marion County/Indianapolis 18 and over and thus eligible to vote. That means 92% of the population eligible to vote is registered, not including the registered "inactive voters" whch bumps registration up to 105%.

92%? As a Republican precinct committeeman, ward chairman and candidate I used to go door-to-door trying to find unregistered voters. From my 20 plus years in politics, I would guess that the "true" registration rate is at best 65%, certainly not 92%. 65% times 644,197 people of voting age in Indianapolis, reveals there should be 418,728 voters. That means there is 591,790 - 418,728 or 173,062 more "active voters" on the voter registration rolls than one should expect.

I have worked the polls since 1986. Since the Motor Voter Bill passed in 1993, I have seen the voter registration lists get larger and larger every year. The poll books we receive on Election Day are filled with people who are deceased or who have moved, which is Marion County Clerk Beth White's explanation for the bloated registration figures. But that is precisely my point. When the voter lists are filled with "inactive voters" that leaves the door open for fraud. What about those voting locations where there is only one party's representative present on Election Day? Do you think Democratic clerks at an overwhelmingly Democratic precinct is going to always strictly enforce the ID requirement when there is no Republican around? And what about "inactive voters" voting absentee? How is the ID requirement going to stop "inactive" deceased or moved voters from mailing in absentee ballots that do not require an ID?

Even subtracting the "inactive voters" from the voter registration list, there still remains a 92% "active voter" registration rate that is simply not credible. There is an explanation for those extra registrations...ACORN, an organization with an Indianapolis and Gary office and which is no stranger to voter registration fraud. To preserve the integrity of the voting process, Marion County Clerk Beth White needs to step forward and report on the credibility of the voter applications her office has received from ACORN. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. It is an issue about preserving the integrity of the voting process. We cannot permit electoral fraud to go unpunished. It is paramount that both Beth White and Secretary of State Todd Rokita take a closer at ACORN's activities in Marion County, and, if voter fraud is found, make referrals to the Marion County Prosecutor for action.

As a final note, the 105% Marion County registration figure proves beyond a doubt that the Indiana General Assembly was correct to pass the voting ID requirement a few years ago. It can be argued that the requirement for a government issued photo ID is too restrictive (and I would agree). But to argue that old rules which allowed one to vote simply by signing a name to a poll book is an adequate protection against fraud flies in the face of reason, common sense and a 105% registration rate.

In passing the ID requirement, Indiana Republicans were wrongly portrayed as engaging in "voter suppression and "intimidation" of minorities and the poor. As a history buff, I find the charge coming from Democrats ironic. It was Southern Democrats who for nearly 100 years from the end of Reconstruction to the 1960s practiced unimaginable intimidation of African-Americans in the South and pulled every stunt imaginable to suppress black registration and voting. To compare a requirement that one show a photo ID to vote to the horrid and disgraceful way blacks were discriminated against by Southern Democrats in exercising their right to vote demonstrates either an ignorance of history or a willingness to insult the courageous men and women who faced real intimidation and voter suppression in exercising their right to vote.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where are all the patriots in power, why isn't corruption prosecuted, why is Acorn still in existance? Why havn't those with Frannie and Feddie, and the rest prosecuted - Most important is why are the legislators that brought this mess still on TV bragging--Frank, Dodd, etc. Where have the real men gone?