According to a report released yesterday by the Associated Press, Barack Obama’s Department of Justice has quashed efforts by the state of Georgia to ensure that all voters are U.S. citizens and therefore able to vote. The system in question made use of social security numbers and Department of Motor Vehicles data to verify citizenship, and therefore eligibility.
It was rejected, according to the report, because it placed an improper burden on minority and Hispanic voters, and therefore infringed upon their right as American citizens to participate in the electoral process.
The decision stems from a lawsuit filed in federal court by the Southeastern Regional Counsel of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. A representative of the lawsuit expressed, in the AP piece, the group’s satisfaction with the DoJ’s decision.
“It vindicates our filing of the lawsuit,” the woman says.
What nobody either at the Southeastern Regional Counsel of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational fund or the Department of Justice seems to realize is that rights are accompanied by responsibilities. I have a right to keep and bear arms, but I have a responsibility to do so in a responsible manner. Religious and other groups have the right to peaceably assemble, but also have the responsibility to ensure that the assembly is peaceable. And, yes, American citizens of all colors, races and national origins have the right to participate in our electoral process, but along with that right comes the reponsibility that they do what is necessary to ensure that their eligibility is proven.
I can understand why written tests in various states to prove voter eligibility were shot down over time; obviously, the burden on the functional illiterate outweighs any protection provided by written eligibility tests. The burden of requiring proof of identification–as to basic citizenship–is remarkably small when balanced against the ramifications of allowing people to vote regardless of eligibility to do so.
Enforcing such a requirement does not infringe upon the right to vote, as the DoJ and Mexican-American group contests. Instead, requiring that voters produce identification showing that they are indeed eligible to vote protects the right to vote — for all. Lack of enforcement will lead to voter fraud–especially in the age of ACORN–and will dilute the votes of each and every eligible voting American citizen.