- The Washington Times - Monday, May 13, 2019


There was a time when blacks weren’t permitted to vote in America, and the truth and consequences of even trying to vote are etched in the nation’s history and Americans’ memories.

Are we ready for 2020?

Not the candidates, mind you — for who will be, will be.

This query is in reference to apolitical choices:

Electronic and paper balloting.

Military, absentee and early balloting.

Polling locations.

And there’s the biggie: voter registration.

Voter registration is the right we should all take quite personally.

Forget the Russian collusion, an issue already decided — just not as decisively in the minds of American voters in 2016.

What we should be doing now is looking at what our local and state elections officials are doing.

Some jurisdictions, such as the nation’s capital, allow 16-year-olds to register to vote. Can you imagine such teenagers, unable to distinguish the Constitution from the Declaration of Independence and “emigrant” from an “immigrant” deciding who becomes the city’s attorney general or the U.S. president?

It’s a scary thought, especially when you discover that election laws, rules and guidelines aren’t as tough as you might imagine.

Essentially all one needs to do, in most states, is take a few pieces of paper with their name and address on them — social services and welfare documents included — and presto, you’re a registered voter. Is your state among them?

If you’re an adult voter and attending college, where do you vote? In your college town or your hometown? I certainly don’t take kindly to the fact that students can register at age 16 and vote in D.C. elections at age 17.

How do we know they aren’t voting in both their hometown and in D.C.? The city merely tells them they cannot. How reassuring.

Voting fraud is a serious enough.

Consider what happened in the city in 2012, when an activist walked into a polling place and verbally identified himself as Attorney General Eric Holder. The polling clerk proceeded to offer him a place to sign as “Eric Holder.” Fortunately, the man walked away.

That definitely scares me because D.C. polling folks do not ask for any ID. None. Zero. Zilch.

So, every time I hit the polls, I say a little prayer.

I fully grasp why so many Americans oppose voter ID laws. A bunch of white men letting loose Ol’ Yellers and German shepherds would frighten the dickens out of me, too. So I get it.

But today’s thieves can steal your identity and your money online, and you can vote online. What then? What do you do after they’ve voted in your name?

Wait for the bureaucracy to kick in. Wait for a special ballot.

These are the times to be proactive. Find out what your city, county and state are doing right now. Go online and check them out, especially if you did not vote in the midterms or the last presidential election.

You’ll get a new perspective on voting rights and perhaps your first on voting fraud.

And you should do so long before the 2020 primaries — before fraudsters bite you where it’ll really hurt.

Photo IDs, after all, are as critical to prove who you are as who you are not.

Check it out.

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at [email protected]

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