Fortunately, when this political decision was appealed, the full 9th Circuit Court allowed the recall election to proceed as scheduled. The voters then recalled Davis and elected Arnold Schwarzenegger in a fair election with ordinary ballots.
Since the 2000 presidential election, states and counties in California, Florida and elsewhere have spent millions of dollars to go high-tech by buying tens of thousands of touch-screen voting machines. Now they find that the touch-screen machines may have more defects than the systems they are replacing, and those defects can be concealed because there is no paper trail to document the ballots.
In a special election in Florida in January 2004, 134 votes weren't counted, apparently because people didn't use the touch-screen machines properly. The result of the election was that Ellyn Setnor Bogdanoff, a Republican, was elected to represent District 91 in the Florida House of Representatives by just 12 votes.
With surveys showing that the 2004 presidential election will be a cliffhanger, the Democrats are desperately searching for new constituencies they can harvest. For example, giving the franchise to the nation's 4 million convicted felons could be enough to elect John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Realizing that former Democratic Vice President Al Gore might have carried Florida in 2000 if convicted felons had voted, Democratic lawyers and lobbyists hope to give felons the franchise before the November presidential election. They are trying to get activist judges to throw out or rewrite state laws that restrict the ability of convicted felons to vote.
In New York, Democratic officials, labor unions and pressure groups are promoting the outlandish notion of allowing legal immigrants who are not U.S. citizens to vote. New York City has 1 million legal immigrants of voting age who are not citizens, more than enough to swing any election.
In addition to trying to gather the votes of convicted felons who have been released from prison and the votes of non-citizens, will the Democrats also be trying to round up the votes of prisoners? Six current U.S. Supreme Court justices have stated that they will look to foreign courts for guidance in interpreting U.S. laws, so we should be on guard against a possible next step in the Democrats' search for new voting blocs.
In March 2004, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, ruled that laws preventing convicted prisoners from voting in elections are a breach of their human rights. The court ruled that it couldn't accept "an absolute bar on voting by any serving prisoner ... "
In the United States, Republicans are spending tens of millions of dollars to promote their message. It is just as important to prevent activist judges from rewriting our election laws and from interfering with ongoing elections.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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