The Conservative View
by Russell Turner
Elections and Nuts
The right to vote is one of the best insurances that we have to keep our government responsive and accountable to the citizens of this country. I feel that we need to remind ourselves that with the right to vote comes a huge responsibility. For a free society to maintain its integrity the voter must be willing to do the research and know the issues of the day, we cannot and must not allow ourselves to be manipulated into casting our vote for bad issues and poor candidates. I support the right of any group or candidate to put forth their ideas to the voter, but after the campaigning the voter should be left alone to decide for himself and take the appropriate action. It is a sad fact that some politicians will do anything to win an election, when this happens it degrades our election process. Our government must insure that our election process remains open and honest. There is a bill that will come before the Oklahoma state legislature that, in my opinion, will help insure an honest system in our state.
Senate Bill 1921, by House Speaker Chris Benge, increases the maximum punishment for felony and misdemeanor violations of the election code. The legislation increases the felony punishments from a fine of $5,000 to $50,000 and from two years to five years imprisonment and increases misdemeanor punishments from a fine of $1,000 to $10,000. The measure adds the following actions as felony acts in the election code:
Last year, several ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) employees were accused of submitting false voter registration forms. Additionally, employees in ACORN's Baltimore office were secretly taped offering questionable tax advice to conservative activists posing as a pimp and a prostitute. Following that incident, Congress voted to end federal funding to the organization. Our current laws need to be strengthened to protect our election system from ACORN and other nuts. The bill passed the House Public Safety Committee with a vote of 6-1 and will next be considered by the full House.
- Knowingly voting with and submitting an absentee ballot issued to another person;
- Unauthorized people knowingly removing from or bringing a ballot to a polling location;
- Knowingly making false application for an absentee ballot;
- Knowingly causing the cancellation of a qualified voter’s registration;
- Knowingly causing the collection or submission of voter registration forms containing false information; and
- Knowingly conspiring to commit election fraud.
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