Last-minute bill signed by Governor will open door to more voter fraud in Tuesday's election, say Massachusetts town clerks.
Passed last week during illegitimate "informal" sessions of House and Senate.
November 3, 2008
The Democratic Legislature and Governor have successfully pushed a last-minute law that town clerks across the state say will cause even more opportunity for fraud in Tuesday's elections.
Last week, just days before the Nov.4 General Election, the Legislature passed (in an apparently illegitimate "informal" session) a bill to allow people who moved away as long as a year and a half ago to come back and vote in the state and national election. Gov. Deval Patrick signed the bill on Wednesday. The bill was made into an "emergency" measure to take effect immediately.
Town clerks across the state immediately denounced the new law as dangerous to the integrity of Tuesday's elections and could lead to errors. Not surprisingly, the liberal establishment was pushing hard to get it passed. State House News reported that Republican party chairman Peter Torkildsen said in the statement. "This is one more example of Deval Patrick trying to appease his political base even though the town clerks have told him it is not practical and will add great confusion to conducting an honest, fair and open election on Tuesday."
A very strange law
As State House News reports, the new law will apply only to this year's Nov. 4 election and would allow individuals who have failed to reregister within 18 months of moving to go back and vote in their old polling places. (Voters have historically needed to register in their new community within six months of moving.) And it only lets these voters vote in the presidential election and US House and Senate elections, but not in local races.
Proponents of the bill are claiming that this is to serve people who had to move because their houses were foreclosed in the last 18 months, although the bill makes no reference to the foreclosure problem. But critics point out these people could have easily registered to vote at their new residences by the Oct. 15 deadline. There has been some speculation that ACORN-like groups are poised to take advantage of this law.
Here's the text of the bill (now signed into law)
Newspaper coverage (NOTE that nothing's mentioned about any illegal vote!):
"Voting right wrong" - Boston Herald Editorial (10/31/08)
"Clerks on edge with new state voting law" - Boston Herald (10/31/08)
"State's town clerks slam 'displaced' election law" - Boston Herald(10/30)
"Mass. voters who have moved may still vote" - Boston Globe (10/30/08)
Massachusetts is already an easy place to commit voter fraud. No identification is necessary to vote. On election day, a person could theoretically go from precinct to precinct and vote by claiming to be a particular registered voter in that district. Registration requirements are lax. We know of one district where - when a candidate went checking door to door - dozens of "registered" voters simply didn't exist and apparently had never lived there. And we've seen ballot boxes that were open cardboard cartons where ballots were just tossed in.
Illegitimate "informal" voting in House and Senate
Probably the most outrageous part of this is the way the Massachusetts Legislature does business at this time of the year. The House and Senate meet with as few as 2 members and pass laws that otherwise couldn't pass normally. This is clearly illegal. The Massachusetts Constitution is very clear:
From the Massachusetts Constitution:
Article XXXIII. A majority of the members of each branch of the general court shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, but a less number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members. All the provisions of the existing constitution inconsistent with the provisions herein contained are hereby annulled.
According to State House News Service:
The bill was passed by the House on Friday, Oct. 24. That day there were FOUR members (out of 160) in the chamber: Reps. McMurtry, Galvin, Forry and Peterson - NOT a quorum.
The bill was passed by the Senate on Monday, Oct. 27. Then the Senate passed the "emergency preamble". There were TWO senators (out of 20) present: Sen. James Timilty and Sen. Michael Knapik - NOT a quorum
Also on Monday, Oct. 27 the House passed the "emergency preamble" to the bill. There were TEN members (out of 160) present: Donato, Smizik, Galvin, McMurtry, Rogeness, Linsky, Alicea, Kafka, Provost, and Rushing - NOT a quorum.
And it's done with a wink and a nod. They call it an "informal" session. They don't record the names of the members present. There's clearly not a legal quorum, but they pretend that there is. If a member wants to stop things, he just stands and says "I doubt the presence of a quorum" and the meeting ends (until the next day).
The Boston press knows what's going on, and they play along with it - mainly because extreme legislation gets passed that way which otherwise wouldn't get through.
It's unbelievably corrupt. And the people of Massachusetts are the losers.
Attempt for an injunction
Last Thursday, MassResistance contacted to persuade a major national pro-family legal group to come here and file an injunction to stop the law from going into effect, on the basis that it was passed illegally. We are still working on that.