Editor’s note: This commentary is by John de Bruin, founder and director of 802VT Alliance. He is a resident of Mt. Tabor.
As we stand on the threshold of the 2020 election cycle, we have another opportunity for change. Shall we make or break the state this time?
As voters, we all have choices to make. Shall we make a stand to fight the progressive, rabid, liberal agenda which has infested Vermont, or shall we continue down the road of self-destruction and allow the agenda to erode our state further by not voting?
Voting is like taking a chance ― a chance to be heard, a chance to make a difference or a chance to “shoot craps.” When the voting system has been corrupted, or becomes biased or controlled by people who have no regard for law, what chance do we really have for fair and impartial elections?
The one-man-one-vote rule is a corner stone of our Constitution. The Electoral College, granted in our Constitution, was created so that a large population area cannot control the outcome of an election. There is a national movement afoot by the left to abolish both of these fundamental principles, and to basically dominate the political face of this country.
Vermont has no state Electoral College, so Burlington, the largest population center in the state, controls all election results. Would it not be wonderful to have 30 electoral votes in Vermont, and the statewide candidate with over 16 votes would win that seat?
Under the current voting system in Vermont, there seem to be many questionable practice, conflicting policies, and possibly hidden agendas, all of which can be classified suspicious at best. These include the following:
1. Forty-five day early voting is encouraged.
2. No excuse absentee voting is allowed.
3. Automatic voter registration takes place at DMV and other state agencies.
4. Online voter registration is allowed.
5. No proof of citizenship is required.
6. No length of residency is needed.
7. Same day voter registration is allowed.
8. Out-of-state students are allowed to vote.
9. No voter ID required.
Democrats will fight to the death to allow out-of-state (nonresident) college students to vote. In 2018 ― and I’m sure they will appear again in 2020 ― the SOS went as far as to produce commercials targeting incoming students to register for voting as soon as they unpack. In New Hampshire, those out-of-state students are not allowed to vote in state elections, and the Democrats have claimed that this practice, and those laws, are “voter suppression.” Should they also claim that putting a fence around a cemetery is “voter suppression,” since they seem to dig up more than their fair share of voters there? I would like to know how a dorm room at some college can be considered a “a principal dwelling place in the town indefinitely,” as defined under 17 V.S.A. § 2122?
How is it even possible to consider an out of state college student, who is only here less than 200 days per year, to be classified as a “resident” under the specific definition as outlined? Allowing students to vote in Vermont elections circumvents our laws. This policy makes a mockery of voting integrity. It would be like me going across the border to Granville, New York, and renting a store for 10 months just so I could vote twice in the same election. As ridiculous as this sounds, this is exactly what happens when non-resident students are allowed voter registration in Vermont.
Do we all remember the great town of Victory voting scandal of 2017-18? The Victory town clerk, on the “advisement” from the Vermont Secretary of State’s office, allowed second-home owners to register and vote in the state elections. Concerns were raised by full-time residents after the elections, and an investigation ensued. All ballots had to be recounted, all second-home owners’ names were stricken from the roll, and their votes nullified. We cannot blame the town clerk or the Victory Board of Civil Authority for this error, since false and obviously misleading information was given in the SOS office. Again, this was a flagrant violation of 17 V.S.A. § 2122 requiring “principal dwelling.” Was this an attempt to encourage voter fraud, or was this a simple case of not knowing the law? Ultimately it is the responsibility of each town clerk and Board of Civil Authority to maintain a proper updated voter checklist, ensure accurate counts, as well as the legality of every voter. They are the front line in the fight against voter fraud and ultimately should be held accountable when questionable practices are discovered.
I have to question the motive of Democrats being so reluctant in supporting the concept of voter ID. As you know we need an ID for everything from purchasing cough syrup and cigarettes to boarding an airplane and checking out a book at a local Library. So, why not for one of the most important of civic responsibilities?
Contrary to the claim of Democrats that “poor people” or minorities can’t get IDs, everyone can legally obtain voter ID cards easily enough. As long as you can prove you are a U.S. citizen and have a permanent address, getting a voter ID card is as easy as ordering breakfast. So why do they resist the one thing which might guarantee integrity and legal election results? I think we all know the answer to that, but still it is a question which demands an answer.
Yet another issue that has bothered me for a long time is a question regarding the legality of online voter registrations being endorsed here in Vermont. Since it is necessary to prove your identity, residence and citizenship, how can this information be verified over the internet? From my standpoint, anyone could fabricate a fictitious personality with phony credentials via cyberspace. We have certainly seen enough evidence of this type of cyber manipulation in the past few years with hackers gaining access to supposedly secure websites, with the greatest of ease. Should it not, therefore, be required by law to physically register at the town clerk’s office or in front of a justice of the peace to fully comply with voter transparency? Online voter registration simply invites large-scale voter fraud and misuse of the one-person-one-vote rule.
Elected state officials as well as non-elected state employees need to be held accountable for voter discrepancies, questionable voter laws, or policies. They must be held accountable to uphold the Constitution, as they accepted the responsibility of holding office.
We are a Republic, and as such we are bound by law. Elected officials are duty-bound to uphold their oath of office to safeguard the people of Vermont “under pain and penalty of perjury.” Bastardizing voter laws does not safeguard citizens, citizen rights or a Republic form of government. We must remain ever vigilant against those who attempt to circumvent the law while disguised as politicians doing us a favor.