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How is Getting Publicly Available Voter Info an Invasion of Privacy?

donald trumpBy Op-ed by Steve Levy

To hear the media describe it, the Trump administration’s request for voter information is not only a full front assault on our Constitution and our privacy, but also an attempt to suppress voter participation. What nonsense! The more I see such bizarre analyses, the more prescient I believe that George Orwell was in warning us how truth can be turned on its head by just repeating a lie long enough.
How in the world can requesting of information that is already publicly available be deemed as an invasion of privacy? The order itself requests information only “if publicly available under the laws of your state.”
So why does the left, in conjunction with the media, continue to push the inaccurate talking points that the request is a disguised attempt to suppress voters?
First, they wish to twist the issue into a game of identity politics. By misrepresenting the issue as an attempt by Republicans to oppress minority voters, they could raise money from, and energize, their base.
Secondly, they believe that if fraud were to occur, it would likely ensure to the benefit of the Democrats themselves. It’s one of the reasons they have looked the other way as federal authorities refused to enforce laws against illegal immigration. Eventually, these illegal aliens, they hope, will become citizens and vote Democrat.
Add into this mix the fact that attorneys general throughout the US are finding that these battles with the feds are a quick ticket to a higher profile and more donations. The trend is not unique to Democrats. Republicans did it as well, as with their challenge to Obama’s amnesty for millions of illegal aliens. But the Republicans tended to be on more solid ground, having won their suits on presidential overreach. (Once with amnesty, and then with Obama’s illegal appointments and altering of environmental laws by improperly bypassing Congress.)
The Democratic AG’s refusal to abide by federal immigration laws was smacked down by the Supreme Court, as will be their sanctimonious attempts to deny a federal panel seeking information that the petitioners can easily obtain via a simple freedom of information form.
Any candidate or political operative will tell you that one of the first acts in a campaign is to single out “targeted” or “prime” voters who vote in every election, in order to concentrate spending on those you know will show up at the polls. How do we get that information? By simply calling the Board of Elections. The board cannot refuse the request.
The President’s panel is seeking the information to determine if there is a significant amount of voter fraud in our system. The issue was muddied by the President himself who made a foolish and unsubstantiated claim that millions of illegal aliens voted in 2016. The media and the left jumped on the assertion, first debunking the claim itself, but also claiming that voter fraud is so insignificant as to not be worthy of an investigation. Regarding the former, they are correct;, but on the latter, they are dangerously wrong.
There doesn’t have to be millions of voter fraud cases to establish fraud as a major concern. Tell the candidate who lost by five votes that the ten contested votes casted in that race were insignificant.
The fact is that there are a large number of razor thin victories in US elections in any year. In the town of Brookhaven, New York (which has a population of 475,000), Councilwoman Connie Kepert lost her election by four votes. The congressman from that area was elected only after a recount and the absentee ballots were opened. President George W. Bush became the 43rd president only after recounts found he had won the state of Florida by a mere 500 votes. In 2010, comedian Al Franken became the United States senator from Minnesota by a slim 312 vote margin. There were at least 340 contested votes in that race.
The fact is, voter fraud does occur. It’s not widespread, but it’s enough that it can change the nature of elections – and that alone is a reason for scrutiny.
Today, you can register to vote in many states without showing any proof of citizenship. Aliens, both legal and illegal, have been known to vote on numerous occasions, as have some felons. Some had nefarious intent; others didn’t know what they were doing was wrong. Either way, their votes shouldn’t be counted.
So why would anyone be opposed to ensuring that only those eligible to vote, actually cast a vote? The answer lies in the incendiary nature of partisan, identity politics.
Steve Levy is President of Common Sense Strategies, a political consulting firm. He served as Suffolk County Executive, as a NYS Assemblyman, and host of “The Steve Levy Radio Show.”

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