Why does the Evergreen Freedom Foundation pour probably hundreds of thousands of dollars – the talents and time of its staff members and dedicated citizen volunteers, into the project of convincing the voters of Washington State, despite all evidence to the contrary, that our government and our citizens cannot be trusted?
But to answer this and other questions about the EFF’s voter purge proposal, all one really needs to know about this initiative is that it is ILLEGAL… and they know it.
I’m no lawyer (much to my mother’s chagrin,) but most statutes really aren’t all that difficult to read, and the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 — commonly known as “Moter Voter” — lays down very clear guidelines governing the circumstances by which states can purge voters from the rolls… and pandering, partisan paranoia is not one of them.
Go ahead, argue the EFF’s case all you want, but Sec. 1973gg-6 (a) ensures that in the administration of voter registration for federal elections, states shall:
(3) provide that the name of a registrant may not be removed from the official list of eligible voters except –
( A ) at the request of the registrant;
( B ) as provided by State law, by reason of criminal conviction or mental incapacity; or
( C ) as provided under paragraph (4);
(4) conduct a general program that makes a reasonable effort to remove the names of ineligible voters from the official lists of eligible voters by reason of –
( A ) the death of the registrant; or
( B ) a change in the residence of the registrant, in accordance with subsections ( b ), ( c ), and ( d ) of this section;
That’s it. Once registered, a voter “may not be removed from the official list of eligible voters except” at his own request, or due to felony conviction or mental incapacity, death, or change of address. There are absolutely no other circumstances under federal law that a registrant may be removed from the rolls. None. Nada. Bupkis.
There’s not much room for interpretation here, especially in light of the stated legislative intent:
The purposes of this subchapter are –
(1) to establish procedures that will increase the number of eligible citizens who register to vote in elections for Federal office;
Clearly, purging the entire voter roll and forcing everybody to reregister could only achieve the opposite.
Which of course, the EFF wouldn’t mind. But they’re not stupid, and neither are their lawyers, so of course they understand at least as well as I do that their initiative cannot possibly achieve their stated objective. Which brings us back to Noemi’s question: why would the EFF pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into such a blatantly undemocratic, illegal, and ultimately futile initiative?
Hmm. Well… because this initiative has absolutely nothing to do with ensuring the integrity of the voter rolls. No, this cynical little abuse of the initiative process is purely strategic, and is focused entirely on propping up the election prospects of Mike McGavick, Dave Reichert, and Republican state legislators.
You see, even a losing campaign can be a worthwhile investment if it pays collateral benefits on election day, and anybody who thinks initiatives are simply about passing laws, hasn’t been paying close attention to how the parties and their surrogates routinely use initiative campaigns to influence public opinion and strategically drive voter turnout. Indeed, some initiatives — like the EFF’s latest stinking pile of political bullshit — are entirely strategic, having absolutely no reasonably obtainable, direct legislative goals whatsoever.
So why would the EFF sponsor this initiative? Because they are a bunch of deceitful, manipulative, calculating liars, whose only goal is to seize political power for themselves and their right-wing fellow travelers, at any cost. It is fair to say that everything about this initiative is a lie, from their feigned concern over the cleanliness of our voter rolls (our Republican Secretary of State has found no evidence of illegal votes,) to their absolutely bizarre proposal to eliminate voter fraud by, um… eliminating voters.
I could spend pages refuting the EFF’s arguments, but to do so in the context of an initiative that clearly violates federal law is not only a waste of time, it’s exactly what the EFF wants. The entire purpose of this initiative is to rile up the paranoid Republican base enough to turn them out on election day, and I for one, am not interested in giving the EFF the bogus debate they want.
The EFF has proposed a laughable and illegal initiative, aimed at a problem that doesn’t exist… and it only deserves to be debated as such.