After all, why should anyone have to prove they’re a citizen?
The (Obama) Justice Department has rejected Georgia’s system of using Social Security numbers and driver’s license data to check whether prospective voters (registrants) are citizens, a process that was a subject of a federal lawsuit in the weeks leading up to November’s election.
In a letter released on Monday, the Justice Department said the state’s voter verification program is frequently inaccurate and has a “discriminatory effect” on minority voters. The decision means Georgia must halt the citizenship checks, although the state can still ask the Justice Department to reconsider, according to the letter and to the Georgia secretary of state’s office.
“This flawed system frequently subjects a disproportionate number of African-American, Asian and/or Hispanic voters to additional, and more importantly, erroneous burdens on the right to register to vote,” Loretta King, acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, said. King’s letter was sent to Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker on Friday.
The decision comes as Georgia awaits word on whether a law passed in the spring that requires newly registering voters to show proof of citizenship will pass muster with DOJ. Under the law that takes effect in January, people must show their proof up front compared to doing checks through databases.
A three-judge federal panel in October ordered the state to seek Justice Department preclearance for the checks under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the same reason the federal agency must sign off on the new law that made Georgia only the second state after Arizona to require such proof. Georgia is one of several states that need federal approval before changing election rules because of a history of discriminatory Jim Crow-era voting practices.
Secretary of State Karen Handel blasted DOJ’s decision, saying it opens the floodgates for non-citizens to vote in the state.
“Clearly, politics took priority over common sense and good public policy,” said Handel, a Republican candidate for governor in 2010.
……”We are pleased with this decision,” said Elise Shore, Southeastern Regional Counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “It vindicates our filing of the lawsuit.” http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/jun/01/us-voting-checks-060109/
The DOJ doesn’t see fit to enforce Title 8 of the U.S. Code, so this comes as no surprise.
They’re basing this decision on past transgressions against Black citizen voters in the South, which they are now trying to extend to illegal aliens who cannot show valid proof of citizenship, because they have none.
It has nothing to do with ‘voting rights’. It’s a tactic on the part of a liberal contingent in the DOJ to limit the States’ ability to validate citizenship, thereby proving you actually have the right to vote. Proving citizenship isn’t ‘discrimination’, it’s the right thing to do. Since La Raza thinks it’s okay for illegals to vote here, can I go to Mexico and vote in their elections?
Georgia comes under something called the ‘pre clearance’ requirements of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. It’s a procedure whereby a panel of DOJ judges “preclear” any attempt on the part of the states to change (READ: verify) any “any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting…” in any “covered jurisdiction.” (Allen v. State Board of Election, 393 U.S. 544 (1969).
Georgia needs to fight this all the way to the Supreme Court. On second thought, if Sonia Sotomayor gets appointed, the integrity of our entire voting system may be at risk.
Texas is currently arguing a challenge to the DOJ before the Supreme Court:
The Texas district argues that there is no evidence of recent discrimination, and that forcing it to comply with Section 5 is unreasonable. Attorneys for the district say localities that can show they are free of discrimination should be able to more easily bailout of Section 5 requirements. Since 1982, fewer than 20 jurisdictions have been permitted to do so.
Much of today’s dispute revolved around the 2006 extension of Section 5 and the volumes of material Congress amassed before voting on it. Justice David Souter expressed surprise that anyone who examined that record would argue that extension of Section 5 is unnecessary. He said, “I don’t understand, with a record like that, how you can maintain as a basis for this suit that things have radically changed? They may be better, but to say that they have radically changed to the point that this becomes an unconstitutional section 5 exercise within Congress’s judgment just seems to me to — to deny the empirical reality.”
However, several justices expressed dismay that the vast majority of the evidence Congress considered examined only the states already covered under Section 5, and failed to investigate similar claims from the other 34 states. Justice Anthony Kennedy, likely to be the deciding vote in the case, expressed great skepticism, “This is — this is a great disparity in treatment, and the government of the United States is saying that our States must be treated differently. And you have a very substantial burden if you’re going to make that case.”
The Supreme Court has upheld Section 5 four times, but if today’s oral arguments are any indication, it appears the Justices may be willing to narrow it for the very first time.
For the sake of our voting system, I hope so.
The Supreme Court did uphold Indiana’s photo ID law last year, so Texas might stand a chance.
The DOJ is wrapped around the axle over perceived ‘voter discrimination’, but won’t bat an eye when overseas absentee military ballots disappear.
Well, liberals do have to have priorities.