Sunday, August 22, 2004

Too much enfranchisement 

This is just a little startling:
About 46,000 people are registered to vote in two states, New York and Florida, a violation of both states' laws that could affect the outcome of the November presidential election, according to an investigation by the Daily News.

On the one hand, this sort of thing happens all the time. My mother moved from Princeton to Virginia a few years ago, yet she remains on the voter roll up here. I know this, because her name appears right after my name in that roll. And because she is regularly summoned for jury duty in Mercer County, but that's another issue.

On the other hand, dual registrations might be used to manipulate the result of an election. According to the Reuters story, somewhere between 400 and 1000 of those duplicate voters have cast ballots in both jurisdictions in the same election, a clear violation of federal election law. Since 68% of the duplicate registrants are Democrats, one wonders what the impact was in the last presidential election. Perhaps Bush won Florida by a greater margin than previously supposed.

Of course, the Democrats will bleat that any attempt to clean up the rolls is a right-wing conspiracy to disenfranchise honest citizenry, and if Jesse Jackson is the bleating Democrat he will go all the way and say its a conspiracy to disenfranchise blacks. But it would be the right thing to do nonetheless.


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