Seeing the Round Corners

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 August 18, 2020

It seems that some of the ways from the past such as redrawing district boundaries and relocating polls to inconvenient difficult-to-access locations still occur. For those without their own transportation, just changing of bus routes can present problems for large areas of a district, especially the older citizens. Notification of relocated polls is an equally “subtle” but innocent, effective bias that still occurs today when districts are redrawn after each census.

Then there is the uproar created by former Secretary of State Scott Gessler about “11,805 non-citizens being registered to vote,” and then being able to confirm that only “200 people on the state’s voter rolls were non-citizens and that 35 may have voted.”

What should concern the citizens of Colorado is that Glassless could not definitely state the 35 voted or did not vote!!

With the push by certain Democrats for open borders, incompetent Secretaries of State are the scariest ideas facing Americans in this election season.

Today’s column from this writer’s archives (July 22, 2013) tells just how little things have not changed in the past seven years.

LEGISLATION OF YESTERYEAR                    July 22, 2013
Legislation has a way of being profound in ways never intended by those drafting it and working for its passage. This writer has often wondered just how much thought is given about the impact legislation may have in the years beyond the present day when it is passed.

The blatant discrimination that existed when the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed nearly 50 years ago necessitated what is now known as pre-clearance. Specifically, states known historically for discrimination at the polls has had to clear any proposed changes to voting laws with the Justice Department or the federal district court in Washington, D.C.

Poll taxes and literacy tests were perhaps the most despicable forms of discrimination leading up to the civil rights movement. The more subtle forms of discrimination such as redrawing district boundaries and relocating polls to inconvenient, difficult to access locations still occur.

Public transportation for voters without their own vehicles is one of the most subtle aspects when analyzing forms of bias that occurs today. Notification of relocated polls is an equally “subtle” but innocent, effective bias that occurs even today when districts are redrawn after each census.

In the 1970’s protection was added to the Voting Rights Act to cover “language minorities” which defies the requirements of citizenship. Remember, to become a citizen, the person must read and understand English.

Part of the rationalization by the U. S. Supreme Court for its recent decision striking down the pre-clearance of changes in voting laws by the Justice Department is that “things have changed in the South,” and that provision in the Voting Rights Act is not necessary anymore.

In today’s world of radical, right-wing politics (and Fox News), one has to wonder if the reverse of that rationalization is more appropriate, meaning perhaps it should be rewritten and expanded for today’s world.

The Voting Rights Act does afford other ways of dealing with discrimination such as lawsuits after changes have been implemented, but those minority voters deprived of their rights are typically the most unlikely to have the financial resources to hire lawyers and pay the cost of litigation – another one of those “subtle” forms of bias seldom addressed.

In South Carolina, the rhetoric on dead people voting became a crusade for Fox News based on evidence so lame as to be laughable, yet became a cornerstone in the political battle over the state’s voter ID law.

An investigation by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, in what was ultimately tagged “the biggest waste of public funds for 2012,” determined that questionable votes were attributed to name recognition errors, other types of clerical errors and individuals casting absentee ballots before their deaths. Not one fraudulent vote was found. (Name recognition errors were clarified as “when a father who was deceased but whose name still appeared on the list would be marked as having voted when his son of the same name had actually cast the ballot.)

In typical Fox News manipulation of the facts, South Carolina’s Attorney General ignored information/testimony given by the director of the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles that dead voters voting was most likely due to data errors or voters dying after casting an absentee ballot, after all, officials do not get to void a ballot just because the voter is no longer walking around on this Earth on election day. No voter fraud was found, but Fox News was obsessive in using it to promote South Carolina’s voter ID law, and has yet to acknowledge the facts uncovered by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (the voter ID law was blocked by the Justice Department).

Closer to home, here in Colorado, Secretary of State Scott Gessler has managed to parlay his claim of non-citizens being registered to vote into a belief that he is the GOP’s answer to unseat Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper.

Granted the state has two political parties, plus those Independents who want nothing to do with either party. BUT, while serving in the position of “Secretary of State,” Mr. Gessler has demonstrated just how clueless he is as to the ethics and legal responsibilities for conducting the business of Colorado while in office.
Demonstrating one’s lack of recognizing the critical factor necessary to serve in the office to which he was elected – impartiality – is not exactly at the head of the list for becoming Colorado’s next governor. Nor does Gessler’s claim of “11,805 non-citizens being registered to vote” add to that list, especially when Gessler could only confirm that less than “200 people on the state’s voter rolls were non-citizens and that 35 may have voted.”

Perhaps legislators should begin a new legislative requirement – this piece of legislation shall be updated to present-day Colorado every 25 or 50 years! Just as “things in the South have changed,” so do things in Colorado.

Considering the consequences of a non-citizen registering to vote and then voting is losing the ability to ever become citizen, in addition to criminal prosecution, is it likely a non-citizen would take the risk? I think not, especially with the immigration bills (s) now being considered.

The reader's comments or questions are always welcome. E-mail me at