ARLENE VIOLET - Automatic voter registration just another grab by Democrats

ARLENE VIOLET - Automatic voter registration just another grab by Democrats

Legislation to put anyone who applies for assistance from a state agency automatically on the voter roll recently passed along party lines in the R.I. House of Representatives. Efforts from Republicans to prevent automatic registration at state agencies that have computer problems were soundly defeated. This legislation should never see the light of day. It not only promotes voter fraud but also constitutes an insurance of votes for Democrat Party candidates. Here’s why:

The Division of Health and Human Services (DHHS) computer system is riddled with problems. The Providence Journal found that some 3,419 people without Social Security numbers were listed as receiving benefits. The state bureaucrats have no clue whether these recipients are who they say they are or whether they are receiving public assistance from other states. There is virtually no quality control to check voter eligibility for anyone who interfaces with DHHS.

It’s easy to divine why the Democrats, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, and Gov. Gina Raimondo are gung-ho for this “automatic” registration. You don’t need to be a Mensa candidate to glean the fact that most people seeking public assistance would vote Democrat since that party is perceived as handing out the giveaways, as opposed to those dastardly Republicans. The legislation is nothing more than accessing votes from folks who, voter eligible or not, would vote for Democrats in elections.

The voting system continues to be broken here. Last November the Journal ran a story stating that 189,000 people are registered to vote beyond the current census for eligible voters. While the secretary of state joined the national ERIC system, thousands still remain on the voting roster without vetting.

Watching the R.I. federal election unfold last November was a frightening experience. Some ballots that supposedly couldn’t be run through broken-down voting machines were brought in to the Board of Elections the next morning. Nobody impounded these ballots, so anything could have happened at the local voting site pre-delivery. In fact, a bag from Speaker Nick Mattiello’s district arrived the following day. A WPRI report showed two people in the background at the Board of Election feeding ballots into a machine while ballots that were “bent” were being hand copied in an adjoining room.

We also know from previous information provided by Ken Block in his study of the voting system that he sent some 125 ineligible people’s documentation to the State Board of Elections. Some firefighters and police officers voted using the station’s address even though it was a crime to do so. As of this writing, the Board of Elections has done nothing.

Local voting sites had problems regarding the authentication of voters in this last federal election. There is supposed to be rules of documenting identification, but in far too many instances, the people “checking” the information are politically connected to politicians who got them the job in the first place. In other words, “anything goes,” and it did.

Instead of promoting legislation to corrupt the voting process even further, all stops should be pulled out to clean up the voting registry and the identification process at polling places. Hopefully, the senators will balk at adding another problem of authentication by allowing state agencies that can’t even get their own eligible information correct from automatically enrolling voters.

Violet is an attorney and former state attorney general.


Ms. Violet--

You've said it all! Let's hope that this Legislation does NOT pass! Rhode Island has enough PROBLEMS, as it is.


This only goes to show how little average individuals understand how federally mandated programs operate. If programs such as TANF (which is at the core of the UHIP fiasco) are SO bloated, and just handing out funds to anyone, how is it that caseloads have dropped dramatically, even while unemployment was high after the recession? If democrats are just pumping out the handouts, why hasnt there been a dramatic increase in use? Ill tell you- because Rhode Island has set some of the most stringent work requirements in the country for cash assistance recipients. First off, you MUST have a social security card to register for TANF or SNAP; the only people w/o SS cards who have green cards and have dependent children are eligible without citizenship. Further, people with no children are required to work or receive work training for 40-55 hours a week depending on their familial status.

This push for automatic voter registration is to provide people with their most basic american right- and to politicize this is reprehensible. To the republicans, Gina is a liberal progressive capable of re-creating hugo chavez's authoritarian regime in our state, while papers Go-Local-Prov and public figures like Lincoln Chaffee call her a powerhouse of right-wing ideals! Everyone is grasping at anything that can give them ground to feel superior to their political opponents. and for you, arelene, to stoop to grandstanding and mud slinging so your out-of-date and out-of-touch op-ed piece can up its viewership is disgusting.

Give the people their liberty back!