Friday, October 07, 2016
Philadelphia keeps felons, illegal immigrants and other ineligibles on voter rolls
We don’t need to wait until November to wonder if illegal voters will be casting ballots, thanks to a 2016 Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) report on the city of Philadelphia we already know that this will be happening and has been happening. The report shows that not only are illegal immigrants casting ballots but thousands of felons remain on voter rolls as well, even though they are ineligible to vote.
Usually getting into the voter system via motor voter, in many cases legal and illegal immigrants would check the box indicating that they were not citizens, yet continued to fill out the registration form and their registration was processed. In other cases, illegal immigrants would simply check “yes” to their citizenship status and with no other question of citizenship their form would be processed.
Registered illegal voters are also not removed from voter rolls unless they request their removal. The immigrant is expected to contact local government offices of their illicit status and request a removal, often after years of illegal voting.
In 2015, only 23 registered voters canceled their registration due to lack of citizenship, 30 percent had voted in past elections and 13 percent had been on the rolls for over 10 years. With data since 2013, each year illegal immigrants have been proven to have voted illegally.
The problem, according to the report, “The report only details aliens who requested to be removed from the rolls. No procedure exists to systematically scan voter rolls to detect aliens and election officials do not use data from the federal SAVE (Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements) database to scan for illegal registrations by non-citizens.”
With no executive oversight, nearly anyone can vote in this state, and any other state which does not have voter registration laws in place.
Similarly, felons, who have legally lost their right to vote, are not removed from voter registration rolls unless they request that the state cancel their registration. Leaving the responsibility for law and order to the felon.
Nationally the federal government has attempted to curb this power, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 clarifies the constitutional requirement of citizenship and demands acknowledgment of this provision by the voter. The act states that, “The voter registration application must state each voter eligibility requirement (including citizenship), contain an attestation that the applicant meets each requirement, state the penalties provided by law for submission of a false voter registration application and require the signature of the applicant under penalty of perjury.”
While this forces individuals to be aware of the possible prosecution, cities like Philadelphia who simply do not enforce the law provide no deterrent against illegal voting.
The PILF report notes, “The City does nothing to actively prevent or discover noncitizen registration. Worse, the system is failing to respond to aliens participating illegally in our elections as law enforcement officials have not vigorously prosecuted this voter fraud. Make no mistake, when an alien registers to vote, it is voter fraud. It’s also a federal felony.”
While legislation such as the Help America to Vote Act of 2002 requires states maintain computerized states voter registration lists and make a reasonable effort to purge those lists of illegible voters, states only need to purge of voters who are deceased or move out of state. Allowing them to neglect felons and illegal immigrants.
When states such as Kansas and Texas then make statewide attempts to abide by this law to the fullest extent and impose voter identification laws, these laws are now routinely being shot down in courts. Continually allowing states to disregard federal law.
The Constitution outlines that only citizens can vote in national elections. And many states further bar felons from voting. The federal government has attempted to reinforce this with the Help America to Vote Act, however, without a binding agreement which holds states accountable for the election fraud within their municipalities the law goes unenforced.
When the state leaders do not care about maintaining fair and honest elections, voters cannot be expected to have the same moral authority for their country. A potential solution could be with state legislatures requiring that ineligible non-citizens and felons be periodically purged from voter rolls, because right now there appears to be nothing in place at the state-level to protect the voter franchise.
How Trump could purge illegal immigrants and other non-citizens from voter rolls
More than 1,000 illegal immigrants are registered to vote in Virginia, a new report released by the Virginia Voters Alliance based on data compiled by the Public Interest Legal Foundation finds.
The report took a sample from just eight different municipalities, emphasizing that there were likely more elsewhere in the state: “The problem is most certainly exponentially worse because we have no data regarding aliens on the registration rolls for the other 125 Virginia localities. Even in this small sample, when the voting history of this small sample of alien registrants is examined, nearly 200 verified ballots were cast before they were removed from the rolls.”
That’s a problem because under 18 U.S. Code § 611, it is illegal for any alien, legal or illegal, to vote in elections. That could carry a maximum of one year in prison.
It is also illegal under 18 U.S. Code § 1015 to for any alien, legal or illegal, to register to vote: “Whoever knowingly makes any false statement or claim that he is a citizen of the United States in order to register to vote or to vote in any Federal, State, or local election (including an initiative, recall, or referendum) — shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.”
So, why don’t states simply purge immigrant and illegal immigrants from the voter rolls?
Probably the biggest reason is nothing compels them to do so, nor is the data readily accessible to assist them.
Take the Help America to Vote Act of 2002, which although it requires every state to maintain a computerized statewide voter registration list and make reasonable efforts to purge those lists of ineligible voters, the only two criteria it lists for removal are if the person dies, or he or she moves out of the state.
States have attempted to implement voter identification laws with proof of citizenship requirements of their own but with uneven results. When Indiana implemented its voter identification law, the Supreme Court upheld it in 2008.
But when Texas put in place a very similar law it was overturned by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals as a violation of the 14th Amendment. And when Kansas attempted to put in place a proof of citizenship requirement in order to register to vote on the state application — the federal version of the form has no such requirement — a federal district judge shot that down, too.
In the meantime, while much attention is focused on proof of citizenship identification requirements, very few efforts are being put towards the task of actually purging voter rolls of non-citizens.
Donald Trump has promised to tackle the issue of illegal immigration as a central plank of his platform. Should he win the election in November, he might also wish to address the critical issue of non-citizen voting. But how?
For starters, since as noted above it is already illegal for non-citizens to either vote or register to vote, and under 18 U.S. Code § 371 it is illegal for two or more persons to conspire to break any federal law, a new administration could force states to purge their rolls by providing them a verifiable list of eligible and ineligible voters in every state using existing birth, immigration, naturalization, marriage and state motor vehicle records.
The federal government could then issue a regulation based on those laws and utilizing that data to compel states to purge voter rolls of ineligible non-citizens. And then if the states refuse, they would then be participating in a criminal conspiracy to commit election fraud and state officials could be prosecuted and imprisoned for each count — one for every non-citizen voter they refused to purge from the records.
I venture to guess those state voter rolls would be cleaned up in a jiffy.
The issue boils down to maintaining integrity in our electoral processes, and to ensure our democracy cannot be overtaken by foreigners outside the franchise. And by creating a very real penalty when laws against non-citizen voting are violated.
Only citizens should vote, and perhaps, for the first time, a Trump administration could make sure that’s the case. All Mr. Trump would have to do is enforce existing laws.
When Bureaucrats Edit the Facts of Islamist Terrorism to Fit Obama’s Narrative
In the early morning hours of June 12, an armed terrorist named Omar Mateen opened fire in a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The next morning, Americans awoke to the news that 49 people had been murdered—the largest such massacre in American history.
This heinous act left Americans, as well as the Orlando community, grieving and searching for answers. But for several days after the shooting, the Justice Department knowingly curtailed the release of information about the shooter’s motives.
Even when it relates to terrorism, the government must be careful not to hide the truth from the American public. This is especially so when the government’s intent is not to protect citizens’ national security interests, but rather to further the political preferences of those in power.
That is why my organization, Cause of Action Institute, has begun an investigation into the Obama administration’s decision to censor the facts of the Orlando shooting.
It was more than a week later, on June 20, that the FBI released a partial transcript of a 911 call made by gunman Mateen during his rampage. The problem: The transcript was heavily redacted and omitted crucial phrases linking Mateen to ISIS.
For example, when the 911 dispatcher asked Mateen for his name, the FBI originally reported that Mateen stated: “My name is I pledge of allegiance to [omitted]” and “I pledge allegiance to [omitted] may God protect him [in Arabic], on behalf of [omitted].”
In reality, Mateen explicitly declared his allegiance to ISIS. He stated:
My name is I pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State” and “I pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may God protect him [in Arabic], on behalf of the Islamic State.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch attempted to justify this censorship, saying it was done “to avoid revictimizing those people that went through this horror.” But that explanation seems highly unlikely in light of other, similar actions by the Obama administration.
For example, since 2011, the administration has led a controversial effort to remove any and all mentions of Islamic ideology from training manuals for law enforcement.
Just days before the Orlando attack, on June 6, the Department of Homeland Security released a report advising law enforcement to use “the right lexicon” when dealing with “issues of violent extremism.” The report recommended eliminating “religiously charged terminology” and cautioned against the use of words such as “jihad” and “sharia.”
Taken together, the evidence indicates that the Obama administration is not giving the American public an accurate picture of terrorist-related activities because those events may contradict the administration’s political preferences and worldview.
But the government’s stated goal of word-policing does not outweigh the public’s right to know what is happening in their communities.
In the case of Orlando, the government doesn’t have the right to hide the attacker’s self-proclaimed affiliation. The statements made by Mateen on June 12 are facts. He spoke those words the morning of his attack on the Pulse nightclub.
The American public is entitled to know the facts as they occurred—not as retold, manipulated, or erased by Washington bureaucrats.
That is why Cause of Action Institute has filed requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain details from the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Justice Department regarding the decision to redact the transcript as well as the administration’s policies on censoring law enforcement.
The FBI responded to our request, asserting broad law enforcement privileges, ostensibly to protect an ongoing criminal investigation. Our requests, however, relate only to the FBI’s censorship policies, not the investigation.
Even after the Justice Department endured intense criticism from many corners, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and First Amendment advocates, the FBI to date has released only the transcript of one of several calls Mateen placed the morning of the attack. There remain more than 28 minutes of recorded calls that have not been heard by the public.
As Thomas Jefferson commented: “A properly functioning democracy depends on an informed electorate.”
Unelected officials in Washington should not be in the business of censoring the facts of a terrorist attack. The American public can handle the truth, even when it doesn’t fit the Obama administration’s interpretation of what is politically correct.
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Posted by JR at 1:25 AM