Since the Oklahoma Lawmakers have decided that there are no real issues to consider, like our continuing failed budget crisis, the Legislature is considering several bills this session that would change voting laws. Bills that would require voters to show proof of U.S. Citizenship, which will prevent some from voting, and others that would make voter registration automatic.
House Bill 2912 by Rep Mickey Dollens, D-Oklahoma City and House Bill 3029 by Rep Emily Virgin,D-Norman would both require the State Election Board to develop a system to allow the Department of Public Safety and driver’s license agencies to submit information about eligible voters to the state board which would send the info to the County Election board. The person would then be registered to vote. Both bills have been referred to House Committees.
House Bill 3285 by Rep John Ennis, R-Enid, would bar individuals who have been convicted of a drug related crime from voting.
“They need to be of right mind when they go to the ballot box as much as possible. Then you’ve got elections that can be thrown one way or the other by people who really have no clue about what’s going on” John Ennis is the one who has no clue. The bill has been assigned to the House Ethics and Elections Committee.
In 2014, only about 30% of the state’s citizen who were of voting age cast a ballot, which means Oklahpoma ranks eighth-lowest in the nation. (U.S.Election Assistance Commission’s report. )It would seem that our problem in Oklahoma is not people trying to vote even if they are not “in their right mind,” but that few Oklahomans are invested in the political process. We should be making it easier, not harder, for everyone to vote and determine their own destiny.
House Bill 3341 by Rep Sean Roberts,R-Hominy, would require anyone registering to vote, updating their voter registration, or showing up at the polls to vote, provide a birth certificate, a passport, naturalization documents or other documents proving U.S. Citizenship.
Oklahoma voters are already required to show identification before voting, but the bill would require the voter to provide additional documents before registering to vote or casting a vote at the polling place. How many of us in SE Oklahoma have a passport or even know where our birth certificate is?
This bill, House Bill 3341, was written by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group of lobbyists that craft legislation to be introduced in state legislatures around the country. Our legislators are incapable of writing their own bills and rely on legislation written by lobbyists.
Ryan Kissel, executive director of American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Oklahoma said both House Bill 3285 and House Bill 3341 would restrict the ability of people to vote.
Kissel said House Bill 3341 is based on the false assumption that there is a large amount of fraudulent voting. Such laws restrict the ability of people who are low income, elderly, or persons of color to vote. People who are often Democrats.
“Why any lawmaker feels compelled to continue to act upon these lies about fraud in our election is beyond me. Frankly, it’s delusional. Roberts is either doing this knowing that the narrative he is furthering with legislation like this is false or he has bought into the delusion himself. Either one is unacceptable.” Kiessel said. (A complete story is at The Frontier , Clifton Adcock)
Legislators are neglecting the duties of their office and that is exactly why this state falls behind in every positive category and leads the list of negatives. This Legislature has a Republican majority in the Governorship and both Houses, but they consistently prove that they are incapable of governing.
Many people are running for elected office this year and as voters it is our duty to hear everyone, from both parties, on the campaign trail and make wise decisions in November, 2018.
Join us the ‘Party of the Working Man and Woman’ Be active in shaping your future! Next Democrat Meeting-February 23-noon-Eastern Oklahoma State College-President’s Dining Hall-Wilburton-Democrat Committee: Roy Alford, Byron Bohanon, Les Brelsford.