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Politics

Only American Citizens Should Be Allowed to Vote

June 13, 2012 - 6:00pm

President Ronald Reagan said it best:Its not that liberals are ignorant, its just that what they know is wrong. And boy, have they got it wrong over this "voter purge" issue.

First, who in America is in favor of noncitizens voting in our elections? Well, it certainly appears that its the Democrats who want to argue that Gov. Rick Scott and Secretary of State Ken Detzner are up to some nefarious purpose in trying to ensure that Floridas voter rolls are comprised of only citizens.

Give me a break! Since when did Democrats want illegals to vote in American elections?

Second, why are the local supervisors of elections complaining about bad lists? Isnt it their job to ensure that only citizens get to vote in an election? And dont let them tell you that they just got this list from the state, because they've had it for months.

So what if the list isnt accurate. Isnt that what their job is to verify that every voter is entitled to vote? Isnt that why I have to register and provide proper governmental identification to prove that I am who I am? OK, so maybe you dont have all of the staff you need to check the lists. Get a life. These are tough times. We all have to work some overtime to get our work done; and just because we taxpayers are paying your salary is no excuse for you to be lazy about doing what is right.

Third, whats wrong with the federal government that authorities there cant take the time to confirm whether someone is a citizen or not? Or do they really not care because this Democratic administration is happy to get every vote it can, whether it's a legal vote or not. According to Florida election officials, the state has been asking the Department of Homeland Security to cross-check our lists and I guess they just dont have the time to worry about little nit-picking matters like whether someone is a citizen.

How hypocritical that Homeland Security has purposely dragged its feet so long that this issue is now within the 90-day window before the election. They're actually trying to assert that this is an issue that has arrived too late in the process. Even more amazing is that the feds try to do it with a straight face!

Look, this is real simple. The list of folks who the Florida Division of Elections thinks may not be citizens is unconfirmed, thats why they sent it to the local supervisors in the first place -- to see if they could verify whether these people are entitled to vote.Whether it is convenient is immaterial. Elected officials and federal bureaucrats have a legal, moral and ethical obligation to ensure that our elections are consistently fair. Anything less makes a mockery of our Constitution. The state didnt say these people cant vote, they said that they cannot confirm that they are entitled to vote and, will you help us to ensure that only citizens can vote in this election.

To make a political issue out of this is absurd. This shouldnt be a partisan issue. No one should want illegal people voting.Florida has always had many immigrants living here, because we are part of the American dream.But just because you live here doesnt mean you are entitled to vote. All of us have to prove that we are citizens just about every day.

I have to show proof of who I am just to use my own credit card. Why? Because someone may be using my card who isnt really me. How different is that than making sure that the person voting is in fact a citizen and has the proper identification to prove who they are? Of course, then the liberals argue that not everyone has a government-issued drivers license or identity card. My answer to that is, well then its time for them to get one.

In fact, have you tried to get a drivers license lately? You have to have a copy of your birth certificate just to drive a car, which is a privilege, and somehow we shouldnt demand the same proof that a person is entitled to vote? Cant find your birth certificate, then its time for you to go through the process that all of the rest of us citizens have to.

Id like to send a message to President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and our supervisors of elections around the state: Do your job. Quit dragging your feet. Stop whining that someone is going to be denied his or her chance to vote because if he/she cant prove citizenship, then he/she has no right to vote.

If the feds wont work with Florida to ensure a fair election for everyone, then Gov. Scott and Secretary Detzner have every right no, a solemn obligation to all citizens that our elections are as honest and fair as humanly possible. Someone once said The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.

This is a guest column. Barney Bishop, former CEO of Associated Industries of Florida, who recently created his third company, is an outspoken, lifelong Democrat with a strong fiscally conservative streak. He believes that government is not the answer to our problems, that civil discourse is obligatory, that compromising on details will not undercut ones core beliefs, and that a resilient, robust private sector is the elixir needed for a true democracy to grow and survive.

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