03 Jul RESTORING THE RIGHT OF SELF-DETERMINATION OF BLACK AMERICA
One of the key goals of the Civil Rights Movement was to ensure that every black citizen had a voice in selecting elected officials at the federal, state and local level. That was the intent of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
“Every American citizen must have an equal right to vote,” said then-President Lyndon Johnson upon signing the landmark legislation. “Yet the harsh fact is that in many places in this country, men and women are kept from voting simply because they are Negroes.”[i]
From the late 19th century to the present, systematic efforts have been undertaken to prevent black citizens from influencing policymaking in their communities and states where they reside. Lynching, poll taxes, ballot destruction and even race-based political party membership were techniques designed to prevent black citizens from having a say over the polices they were expected to live by.
Today, black citizens are still being thwarted in exercising their right to determine or decide the policies they will live by – only now it is being done through less direct, more subtle schemes to dilute their vote. When 5%, 10% or 15% of the vote in a community is made up of dead people, former residents or people ineligible to vote, blacks are disenfranchised. Their ability to control or even influence the policies they must live by is undermined.
When illegals and felons vote, when identity thieves cast votes of registered voters or cast them on behalf of people long deceased, the votes of legitimate voters are diluted or diminished in ways similar to those of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Blacks are more likely than any other groups to be victims of voter fraud. The communities where they often reside are more likely to ignore unlawful voting activity and often those engaging in this illicit behavior do so because they believe that they can get away with it. Worse, some leaders in these communities believe voting manipulation is appropriate and acceptable behavior.
In whatever way it happens, it means that law-abiding blacks exercising their right to vote end up having less say over who their elected representatives will be or what policies they will be required to live with.
Take it from those who have been caught engaging in voter fraud.
“The people who are targeted [for voter fraud] live in low-income housing and there is a sense that they are a lot less likely to ask questions,” said Troy, NY Democratic Committeeman Anthony DeFiglio when he pleaded guilty to voting fraud. “What appears as a huge conspiracy to nonpolitical persons is really a normal political tactic.”[ii]
“I knew that the actual voters had not voted the ballots or signed the envelopes, but that did not concern me. I am not the ballot police,” said another Troy committeeman convicted of vote fraud. “I have been present when ‘ballots were voted correctly’ by party operatives. Voted correctly is a term used for a forged application or ballot.”[iii]
There are more than three million dead people still on the voter rolls across America, according to a 2009 study by Aristotle International Inc., a technology firm specializing in political campaigns. Another 12.9 million remain on voter lists in areas where they no longer live. In total, about 8.9% of all registered voters fall under the category of “deadwood” voters, a term for voters who should not be eligible to vote in a precinct, according to the study.[iv]
State-by-state results of Judicial Watch’s Election Integrity Project yielded 462 counties where the registration rate exceeded 100 percent. Furthermore, 3.5 million more people are registered to vote in the U.S. than are alive among America’s adult citizens.[v]
As former U.S. Representative Artur Davis acknowledged, voter fraud is rampant in black districts such as his own former congressional district in Alabama.[vi]
In 2010, Colorado’s Secretary of State reported nearly 12,000 people who registered to vote in that state were not citizens and thus ineligible to vote.[vii]
Blacks deserve a better deal in voting. Having secured the right to vote, blacks deserve to have their vote count.
Project 21 recommends…
- Requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote.
- Requiring proof of identity to cast ballots.
- Requiring states to purge election rolls on a regular basis to remove people who are deceased or have moved to other jurisdictions.
- Requiring states to purge election rolls of registered voters who have not cast ballots in six years.
- Prohibiting the practice of mailing ballots to those who have not requested them.
- Prosecuting organizations or individuals systematically targeting black communities for voter fraud.
[i] Lyndon Baines Johnson, “The American Promise,” speech to the U.S. Congress, March 15, 1965, LBJ Presidential Library, Austin, Texas, available at http://www.lbjlibrary.org/lyndon-baines-johnson/speeches-films/president-johnsons-special-message-to-the-congress-the-american-promise.
[ii] Eric Shawn, “Voter Fraud ‘a Normal Political Tactic’ in Upstate NY City,” Fox News, New York, New York, January 17, 2012, available at http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/01/17/voter-fraud-normal-political-tactic-in-upstate-ny-city.html.
[iv] Mark Tapscott, “Massachusetts has Estimated 116K Dead Voters on Its Rolls,” Washington Examiner, Washington, D.C., January 18, 2010, available at https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/massachusetts-has-estimated-116k-dead-voters-on-its-rolls.
[v] Deroy Murdock, “Ghost Voters,” National Review, August 11, 2017, available at https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/08/election-fraud-registered-voters-outnumber-eligible-voters-462-counties/.
[vi] Jack Kelly, “Voter Fraud is Real,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, December 18, 2011, available at http://www.post-gazette.com/jack-kelly/2011/12/18/Voter-fraud-is-real/stories/201112180155.
[vii] Horace Cooper, “Victims of Voter Fraud: Poor and Disadvantaged are Most Likely to Have Their Vote Stolen,” National Policy Analysis #635, National Center for Public Policy Research, Washington, D.C., August 1, 2012, available at https://nationalcenter.org/2012/08/01/victims-of-voter-fraud-poor-and-disadvantaged-are-most-likely-to-have-their-vote-stolen-by-horace-cooper/.