February 11, 2013
Liberal efforts to reduce waiting times at the polls are part of a partisan plan to advance their cause at the polls, The Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky explains in the Wall Street Journal this weekend.
Von Spakovsky, the subject of the Journal’s “Weekend Interview,” tells the Journal’s James Taranto that the so-called Voter Empowerment Act of 2013 is the latest push:
“They basically want to use the government to do Democratic voter outreach and voter registration for them,” Mr. von Spakovsky says. “They believe that if they can get, for example, everyone registered to vote who is currently getting government benefits like welfare . . . then that will somehow get them more votes at the polls and make it easier to win elections.”
The Voter Empowerment Act would also mandate automatic registration of individuals on motor-vehicle, tax and university rolls, many of whom are aliens or have multiple addresses in different states: “You’re basically going to be registering lots of people who are ineligible and leading to many duplicate registrations.” The groups pushing such efforts—among them the Brennan Center for Justice, the ACLU and the NAACP—include “the same organizations that have been filing lawsuits over the past few years trying to prevent states from verifying the accuracy and eligibility of people on their voter-registration databases,” Mr. von Spakovsky says.
All this to solve what he argues is a nonexistent problem. “The number of people who don’t vote or don’t register because they have some kind of problem with registration is a tiny, tiny percentage. It is so easy these days to register to vote, including the fact that many states now allow online registration, that . . . it is not going to increase turnout.”
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