I gotta admit something here … Tuesday morning, I voted in a giant rush. The plans, 'round the house, was to get on the road at 10 a.m. for vacation, and that included maybe 10 minutes to get to the precinct (three blocks away) and vote. When I got there, and the elections worker was asking about citizenship, I didn't think too much about it, mostly because there was an old guy there who spoiled his ballot by using X's rather than straight bars. That took what seemed like an awfully long time to sort out and on top of that, there appeared to be a number of new voters there. My assumption about the citizenship question on the ballot application was that they'd been printed up and issued before benevolent overlord Rick Michigan vetoed legislation making citizenship a big deal and in a fit of frugality no one had reprinted the applications to fall into line with the law. It wasn't until yesterday when someone told me that the Secretary of State had sent out an e-mail very early in the morning ordering local clerks to enforce the question.
This morning, from the Freep.
It frustrates me to no end that Secretary of State Ruth Johnson spends her energy and prestige crushing mole hills like noncitizen voting and in-person voter impersonation — problems for which there is virtually no evidence — but she ignores mountains of laundered money in our campaign finance system. I guess we have very different views on accountability in elections.
When I first saw the link on the Freep's editorial page, I thought maybe Jocelyn Benson's people had written it and submitted it. It's actually Rich Robinson.
Illegal immigrants isn't a new phantom problem, mind you. Dave Camp, who I guess according to the Detroit News' Jeffrey Haddon we're not supposed to criticize right now, voted against the Motor Voter bill back in the early 90s (for you fellow Gen X'ers, this was the one championed by MTv to get more young people involved in politics), based on the phony complaint that illegal immigrants would immediately use the relaxed registration law to vote in droves. Things haven't panned out that way, of course.
The great irony is that Ruth Johnson's war on phantom election fraud came the same week as charges being filed against Thad McCotter's staffers for filing phony election petitions, and that it comes not so long after Kent County's prosecutor, a Republican, released a report calling House Speaker Jase Bolger, perhaps the worst House Speaker in living memory, and Roy Schmidt guilty of crimes for which there aren't laws. Ruth Johnson's office did respond to that, calling it a disgrace. Actions speak louder than words, however, and the only voter fraud they've taken steps to stop is the kind that doesn't exist.