I’m a bit late to the discussion, but news that California is extending certain rights of citizenship to non-citizens, and continuing proof that the birth certificates that Barack Obama is posting are forgeries, compels us to reconsider voting integrity. Several states, as is well-known, have taken steps to help ensure voting integrity, but I would like to take up a bigger issue of what needs to be done to ensure that only those who have the right can actually cast a vote.
There are two principles which must be adhered to if we are to ensure the integrity of the vote. The first is that voting policy must ensure that only citizens vote, meaning there is no chance that a non-citizen may sneak a vote in. The second is a recognition that our nation is governed by agents who have been put in office by the votes from all the states and each of those states must adhere to the first principle.
Taking this second idea first, we have a president who can be elected based on illegal votes in states with lax voting standards. We are further governed by a Congress with senators and representatives from each state, some of whom might gain office by fraudulent voting in their states, and who nevertheless have an equal vote on federal policy which affects all citizens. What this means is that there must be a uniform standard of proving citizenship of voters in all the states.
While the efforts of the states which are enacting laws to improve voting are laudable, they do not go far enough. First, as mentioned above, because they are piecemeal they allow the other states to bypass these required restrictions. Second, they rely on documents which are themselves unreliable in proving citizenship.
Most of these states require government-issued identification documents to prove that one is a legitimate voter. There are two problems with this approach. One, as we have seen how easy it is for Obama to get government to go in with him on his birth certificate forgery, we know that we can’t trust government to issue reliable citizenship documents. Second, the documents that are required either in and of themselves do not prove citizenship (some states allow non-citizens to get driver’s licenses; military ID cards are not adequate since citizenship is not a requirement to be in the U.S. Armed Forces). Further, even when proof of citizenship is required to obtain these documents, that proof of citizenship is often just a piece of paper called a birth certificate with there being no proof that the person who presents it is really the person it represents. (This is also why U.S. passports are insufficient to prove citizenship. After all, Obama has a passport, and he is not a citizen).
It turns out that the only documents which definitely prove citizenship are naturalization papers, making naturalized citizens the only ones eligible to vote.
This is clearly untenable, which leads us to one of two solutions to the problem. First, the federal government would need a means to register and identify all citizens, each of whom would be required at all times to carry citizenship papers. This won’t work, since government is clearly too incompetent to manage this, and it sets up a framework reminiscent of Nazi war movies…”papers, please.”
Which leaves us with the market-based, citizen-focused initiative to ensure voting integrity. Since government cannot be allowed to organize this, citizen groups must form which can man polling stations and decide which voters presenting themselves at the polls truly are citizens. Such a mechanism worked well at our nation’s founding, where individuals were identified as eligible to vote because they were known to other citizens who could vouch for them. There is no reason to think it can’t work for us today.