Election Security takes center stage - Supreme Court rules in favor of felon voting restrictions and King County removes fraudulent voter registrations

July 26, 2007

from Evergreen Freedom Foundation

Olympia­Today, the Supreme Court issued a ruling in the felon voting case of Madison v. State of Washington and the King County Canvassing Board announced it was removing fraudulent registrations removed from voter roll.
“The Supreme Court made the correct decision to uphold the state law preventing felons from voting until they have completed all legal obligations­including restitution to victims,” said Jonathan Bechtle, Director of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation’s Citizenship and Governance Center. “Granting voting rights to a special class of indigent felons, as the plaintiffs had requested, undermines the security of our voting rolls by making it much more difficult to identify ineligible felon voters. Today’s decision will make it much easier for the Secretary of State to maintain accurate voter rolls.”
“Restitution is vital for making victims whole again, and for impressing on a felon the seriousness of their crime,” Bechtle continued. “As Justice Fairhurst noted in the majority opinion, Convicted felons lose their right to vote ‘as a direct result of their decisions to commit a felony.’”
Also today, the King County Canvassing Board removed 1,762 names from the county voter rolls that were fraudulently submitted by the local chapter of Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). Prosecutor Dan Satterberg announced that seven ACORN workers would be charged with voter registration fraud.
ACORN recently sued the state, resulting in a settlement that forced King County to add these clearly questionable registrations to the roll, regardless of verification.
Bechtle praised the actions of prosecutors, but urged all election officials to be proactive in preserving ballot security: “We commend Prosecutor Dan Satterberg and the canvassing board for canceling the bad registrations and charging the individuals responsible.
“It’s a travesty; however, that these obviously invalid registrations were placed on the voter rolls in the first place. To prevent similar registration fraud from happening, the legislature should add new security requirements to ensure counties only register voters after verifying their eligibility.”
Additional Information
Banning felons from voting is not a poll tax
ACLU’s Lawsuit for Felons’ Voting Rights Dishonors Crime Victims
Back to the “Honor System”: Judge Deal Major Blow to Election Security
Madison Majority Opinion
King County Settlement  


Contact:       Booker Stallworth, Communications Director
                     (360) 956-3482Center for Citizenship & Governance
Evergreen Freedom Foundation
A Non-Profit Public Policy Research Organization
PO Box 552, Olympia, WA 98507
(360) 956-3482, www.effwa.org
...Because Freedom Matters!


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