Phil King has been talking to Democrats about a possible solution to the voter registration bill, which, in its original form, required voters to prove their citizenship in order to register to vote. This onerous requirement would have made it impossible in practice to conduct a voter registration drive, since most folks don’t have certified copies of birth certificates or a passport lying around their houses. King’s floor substitute shifts the burden of verifying citizenship to the Secretary of State’s office. Under a recent federal law that took effect on January 1 of this year, states must cross-check voter registration applications with social security and drivers license records. King’s proposal would add birth certificates and naturalization papers. If the voter’s citizenship still cannot be verified, the secretary of state would contact the appropriate local officials who would get in touch with the prospective voter to see if additional information is available.
There should be not compromise on this issue. This is an issue to draw that nice clear line between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats are for inclusion, Republicans are for exclusion. That aside, I don’t understand what this “compromise” changes from the way things currently are. As previously posted here, the first question asked on a voter registration application is, Are you a US citizen? Doesn’t that mean, or shouldn’t that mean, that someone, somewhere, should already be making sure that the applicant is a US citizen?
It’s like the Voter IDiocy bill. The vast majority of people think it’s a bill mandating “everyone” show a photo ID in order to vote. That’s not the case. If you dont’ have an ID you can show a myriad of items with the correct name and address on them. The point in all of this is that the Republicans are trying to pass these bills, to show their ignorant base – (Again from Burka, “The ease of explaining why these bills are good bills, and the difficulty of explaining why they might not be, is why Republicans think they have some ammo they can use against Democrats at last.”) – that they’re doing something to keep “those” people form voting illegally. When in fact that’s not happening. Even if it was happening these proposed laws they’re attempting to pass wouldn’t stop it. That’s why there should be no compromise on this bill or HB 218.