Declaration — To Assure Election Integrity | Beaufort County Now | Voter Identification Assurances & Election Reforms

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Declaration — To Assure Election Integrity

    Background

    The presidential election of 2016, and especially the presidential election of 2020, exposed numerous flaws in the United States' election procedures. Across the nation, polling mechanisms, the design of election ballots, voting rules, hours, and allocation of financial resources vary significantly between states and localities. In many jurisdictions utilizing older types of voting equipment (such as punch-card machines) ballots were disqualified at significantly higher rates than in jurisdictions employing more accurate and reliable equipment (such as optical scan machines). Moreover, due to the lack of legislative prioritization for funding of election administration, officials in many states and localities do not have the resources to hire adequate numbers of election workers and conduct meaningful voter education programs. Additionally, in some instances, efforts to purge ineligible voters from registration rolls (including those who have died, moved, or been sentenced as felons) have resulted in the mistaken elimination of fully eligible voters from registration rolls. Finally, we can't forget that the 2020 presidential election allowed a number of additional votes to be cast because of the pandemic.

    Election laws that place high burdens of proof on the voter, combined with inadequate checks and balances in these systems in place on Election Day, have made it difficult for aggrieved voters to obtain redress, and the inadequacy of election laws (which seem to only be getting worse and worse) make it incredibly difficult for those alleging voter and election fraud to have reported incidents investigated.

    Complaining about the 2020 election without offering and enacting remedies doesn't fix anything. It only adds to our collective frustration with our overly-ambitious (and scheming) political parties and with those voters without character, morals, or ethics who are willing to cheat the system.

    Our American tradition teaches us that the process of choosing leaders is not a privilege, but a collective responsibility. We teach in our schools that we have a civic duty to be informed and to vote. Voting is the most democratic element of our constitutional republic — "the voice of the people."

    In order to restore confidence in the integrity and fairness of our nation's election process, government agencies at the federal, state and local levels must work together to evaluate the various components of our electoral system. And then each of those government systems should take any necessary and all appropriate steps to strengthen and/or change policy at the federal, state and local levels to ensure that all persons wishing to vote are given a meaningful opportunity to do so, and all votes determined to be valid in accordance with established fair standards are counted accordingly. Congress and other government agencies should assess approaches that aim to ensure fairness with regard to casting and counting of votes, including, but not limited to, the implementation of a uniform nationwide poll closing time and uniform standards for counting disputed ballots within individual states.

    When we think of voting, we instinctively assume that we have the RIGHT to vote. And I contend, with absolute certainty, that we indeed possess that right. There are several, however, who comment that there is no explicit right to vote in the US Constitution. And there are groups which advocate that the time has come to amend the Constitution to finally include such an express declaration of that right.

    But the fact is that the united States of America was founded as a republic. We all know this and hopefully, we've all learned it in school. The definition of "republic" is: "a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch." It is arguably a given that we have the right to vote. Representatives cannot be "elected" if the people don't have the right to elect them (ie, vote for the candidate of their choice). Furthermore, the Declaration of Independence, which lays out the principles of freedom and liberty, and the foundational philosophy for government in the American colonies, reads: "hat to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." In other words, we have, each in our own State, a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people" and it is certainly assumed that "of the people" means that ordinary citizens are selected (ie, elected) "by the people" (through a voting process).

RESOLUTION & DECLARATIONS on VOTER REFORM

    WHEREAS, the right to vote is inherent in the fact that the united States of America was established as a republic (a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives...)

    WHEREAS, the Declaration of Independence clearly and expressly states that our States, and by extension our country, is a "government of the people, by the people, for the people" {Exact wording: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness....']

    WHEREAS, our Founding Fathers thought that the right to vote was critical to our form of government, and viewed it as a virtually sacred act.

  • For example, Samuel Adams, the leader of the Boston Sons of Liberty and one of our most active and passionate of Founding Fathers had this to say about the right, and indeed, the duty, to vote: "Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual — or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country." [The Boston Gazette on April 16, 1781.] Adams also said: "Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote...that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country."
  • Alexander Hamilton, a delegate to the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 and a main author of The Federalist Papers, wrote: "A share in the sovereignty of the state, which is exercised by the citizens at large, in voting at elections is one of the most important rights of the subject, and in a republic ought to stand foremost in the estimation of the law."
  • Thomas Jefferson, certainly one of our greatest Founder and the author of our Declaration of Independence, wrote: "The elective franchise, if guarded as the ark of our safety, will peaceably dissipate all combinations to subvert a Constitution, dictated by the wisdom, and resting on the will of the people.
  • And finally, John Jay, one of the three authors of The Federalist Papers and appointed to the bench of the very first US Supreme Court, said: "The Americans are the first people whom Heaven has favored with an opportunity of deliberating upon and choosing the forms of government under which they should live."

    WHEREAS, another great Founder, Thomas Jefferson, author of our Declaration of Independence, said this: "A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities."

    WHEREAS, 18th-century American lexicographer, Noah Webster said: "...If the citizens neglect their Duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the Laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded." [The point being made is that "a government of the people, by the people, and for the people" as promised by our founders in the documents they created for our States individually and in union form can only be secure if the process is honest, transparent, and free from manipulation. We always say: "The government works for us. The government IS us. It is the people's government." If we ignore the rampant and persistent election and voter fraud problems, and the vulnerabilities to our current system that allows all possibilities of manipulation, hacking, and abuse, then we can no longer honesty make claim to such a "people's government." The representatives will forever be beholden to others.... Not you.]

   
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