In normal everyday life, to be a decision maker of a group, you usually have to satisfy three requirements: You must be known to be a valid decision maker to the other participants, you must have a vested interest and understand the outcomes of your decision, and you must have contributed to the group. Household? Check. Corporation? Check. Only in the world of government are all three requirements removed from the process.
Would you allow a stranger to pick up your kids because he said he was working for the school? Do you allow some stranger into your home and let him dictate how much money you are going to spend on him? Would a corporation allow an intern to speak on behalf of the CEO during a critical board meeting? Then why is it acceptable to violate all three principles at the government level where polices implemented in one administration can affect the nation for the rest of the country's life (like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, ObamaCare and the other social programs that will be here until they collapse)? I propose three laws that should exist at the national level, but never will because one political party would stand to lose the most even though these are sensible proposals in every other life endeavor.
The first requirement of being a valid decision maker could be satisfied with Voter ID laws. This of course assumes that the government issued ID could prove that the person were a valid US Citizen (there are states that issue ID to non-US citizens. "You entered the country illegally, but hey, come to this government office and be granted driving privileges" - but I digress]. Both the Second Amendment (right to bear arms) and the Fifteenth Amendment (right to vote) were added to the US Constitution. So why aren't the same standards of identifying oneself applied to exercising both rights? You might be inclined to say that guns can kill people. But so can bad presidents and politicians, and probably a lot more if you look at the lives lost in war.
Democrats and the liberal media are vehemently opposed to Voter ID laws despite it having overwhelming national support (kind of signals who commits and benefits from fraudulent votes the most, doesn't it?). Their claim is that there are barely any cases of voter fraud and that requiring citizens to have ID at the polls is going to be a huge burden and disenfranchise millions of voters and we therefore we don't need those laws (by the way, there's a good write-up on this myth of the disenfranchised millions). Do any web search and a plethora of articles from the liberal media will flood your browser vociferating how rare or non-existent voter fraud is. The problem is that voter fraud is real and it exists despite these claims.
For example, in the 2012 election, a Poll Worker (!) was convicted of voting 6 times for Obama. Did she really stop at 6 or was she just not caught on the other ones? She was a poll worker, so who knows what fraudulent ballots she slipped into the process. But for now let's just stick to the 5 extra she was convicted for - her 5 illegal votes negated 5 legitimate votes for Romney. Five voters were disenfranchised by one person. Do the math on how that scales if hundreds or thousands of people are committing the same crime. In the same county, for instance, 39 other obvious cases were detected and a full 20% of registered voters in Ohio may be ineligible to vote. Pew Charitable Trusts issued a report that found:
With numbers like that, it doesn't sound so rare, and in fact, sounds like a pretty significant problem. TrueTheVote.org has a pretty decent roundup of related news articles documenting voter fraud. How many other voter fraud cases slipped through the cracks and were not caught to be reported?
The biggest problem is that voter fraud is hard to detect and not that many people are prosecuted for it. Liberals use this as their main argument premise that voter fraud is a myth or non-existent. The negative evidence becomes positive evidence to them ("Because I have never seen God, He does not exist" goes the logic). But, it shouldn't only be obvious to me: The only voter fraudsters who seem get caught are the idiots who go on national TV or Facebook and brag about it like Ron Jones and Jim turner did. Only an fool is going to run around waving his hands and announcing that he just committed voter fraud, a class I felony. The point is, that it's really hard to detect voter fraud especially when there is no record of the person who showed up to vote after the fact, so why not verify identity at the ballot box?
Counties don't even look for voter fraud because they use outdated systems, apparently don't cross check death databases, and there is no national voter registration to prevent someone from registering or voting in two or more states. Only independent organizations reporting on voter fraud bother to combine the voter roll records from a few counties to see what shakes out. The way our voting system stands now, it's pretty much an honor system only requiring a signature.
Voter fraud very well may be "rare," but that doesn't negate the damage impact or absolve the seriousness that this "rare event" can have. F5 hurricanes are pretty rare too, but the damage is massive. Similarly, if a small rare event tips the scales over in an important swing state, it can fundamentally change the direction of the country permanently. For example, in 2000, Bush won the state of Florida by 493 votes. Those 493 votes determined who won the Presidency. What if 100 people out of the state of 19.3 million people voted 5 extra times (or 500, 1 extra time)? That .0005% of the state's population rare event would have lead to real outcomes. Or maybe it did. Maybe Bush really didn't win the election, or maybe he won by 5,000 votes, we will never know. Since quite a few swing states determine the winner of the election and are decided by a small percentage of the voters in those states, the impact is potentially huge. The concern isn't so much with the state of California where there is a 10% margin, but instead with states like Florida and Ohio where the margin is sometimes less than a percent. And what if the number of fraudulent ballots isn't in the hundreds, but thousands like it is in some counties? Keep in mind that that 0.0005% event is more rare than the rate of murder in that state. Which law do you think the public would have greater hesitation to breaking?
And let's go ahead and bring up the obvious here. Are you telling me that this mysterious disenfranchised voter out there doesn't own a car, never flies on planes, doesn't have a bank account, doesn't have a job that validated employment eligibility, hasn't completed a mortgage or had his or her landlord verify identity, doesn't fill prescriptions, doesn't purchase alcohol, hasn't signed up to any government benefits program, hasn't gotten married, hasn't rented a hotel room, and has never had to pick up packages at the post office? They haven't done any of the aforementioned normal life things and live like the Unabomber, but they are strongly interested in the election outcome and voting, but can't be slightly inconvenienced to show up to a state run driver's license center to get their picture taken. I'm guessing they don't shop for groceries either. It has got to be the weakest excuse I have ever heard.
The next two suggestions would never be implemented, but the Founding Fathers never considered them to maintain election integrity because they didn't have the problems we have now.
Low information voters water down the votes of the informed voters. Why should people who don't have a clue for what a candidate or political party represents be able to vote for that party and water down another voter's informed choice? Do we really want voters electing a candidate based on how attractive they are? Or just because everyone else seems to like him [1, 2]? Should people who are Googling "Who is running for President" the day of the election be allowed to vote? Shouldn't it be a requirement to have a basic understanding of what a candidate or the political parties represent? When you take the SATs for college, you study to have some understanding of the subject material that will decide the fate of your life, so why shouldn't you have some understanding of the election material that decides the fate of the country? If it wouldn't be prudent to let a shrewdness of apes jump around in the control room of a nuclear power plant, why do we let them do the same thing in the election booth? Some might equate this proposal to the literacy tests of 1890, but unlike the intent there of racial discrimination where whites did not have to take it because they were grandfathered in, I would advocate that everybody would have to take it.
Low information voters are changing the political landscape and it can have lasting effects on the future direction of this country. Imagine how different our politics would be with a populous of informed voters (and imagine how fewer mud-slinging commercials would parade around for the low information voter to soak up, too). Unfortunately, southern states of times gone past abused the idea to use for racial discrimination and it led the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
But who stands to lose from this proposal and who is the low information voter? Not surprisingly, the Democrat (even their mascot is telling). Nonpartisan survey after survey, show that they are less informed about current events/news, politics, positions of political parties and economics, and they are more closed-minded and less consistent when placing blame about political issues than Republicans and Independents are. The facts show that a more informed political environment is a function of fewer Democrats.
A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
~George Bernard Shaw
Centuries ago when this country was founded, we didn't have an income tax (1913), we didn't have welfare (1935) and we didn't have permanent food stamp benefits (1964). If you didn't work, you didn't eat that day. Back then, such a proposal would have been superfluous because freeloading wasn't an acceptable part of the culture like it is now. This all changed back in the 1930s with all the social programs that Democrats pushed though and that now we are permanently stuck with. Now we have the 47% of the population voting to determine how to spent the other 53%'s money, along with 15% of the nation dependent on food stamps (and don't forget about all the other backdoor welfare programs out there). Clearly, a logical person is going to vote to maintain his non-tax status and vote for the candidate who promises to increase his benefits the most. The willing politician cultivates this arrangement as it keeps him in office - permanently. Take notice as to which party has the a majority of the longest serving politicians, and correlate that to the party that always introduces and expands additional government dependency programs. Then look at the political leanings of those government dependents. Coincidence?
Not that a contribution proposal would ever have any chance in getting implemented anyway, but the wording of the 24th Amendment would probably nullify it even if it did. The way it reads:
The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.
The "other tax" part is where it is unclear if this proposal would be unconstitutional or not. However, this Amendment served a different purpose 50 years ago and was added to the constitution to prevent states from charging a poll tax, which was a fixed fee at the voting booth. Once again, some states abused the idea to target minorities because whites were grandfathered in and didn't have to pay.
That's where my proposal would be different. Mine would say that had you already contributed at least something as a result of your normal IRS filing requirement, you'd be allowed to vote. If you had paid some federal income tax, which is what a normal working person would be doing anyway, then you would satisfy the requirement. No additional monies would be collected or fees levied. All I am saying is that only those who have some skin in the game and have contributed some of their own money should be allowed to determine how the whole pot of everyone else's money is spent. You really can't argue that that is unfair.
Even though Democrats stand to lose the most votes from all three proposals, to me it is not a partisan issue. I would be arguing for the same thing even if Republicans or otherwise stood to lose because I believe in all three principles. You probably do too, if you can step outside partisan politics for a moment.