Massachusetts taxpayers are taking another shot to the chin, this time to chase down layabouts who decline to expend the time and energy the rest of us willingly do to engage in the civic duty of voting.
Once, registering to vote was a simple process requiring a minimum of effort on the part of would-be voters — one merely had to get to one’s town or city clerk’s office and sign up.
But left-wing activists — the names Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward may be familiar to some — determined this requirement was too burdensome for some segments of the population. So in 1993, Congress passed the National Voter Registration Act, better known as the “Motor Voter” Act. The law requires states to allow citizens to register to vote while applying for driver’s licenses or social services.
Of course, as these marginal voters skew strongly Democratic, merely allowing people to sign up to vote at motor vehicle registries or welfare offices isn’t enough to satisfy those of a leftward bent. So, activist organizations have been filing lawsuits against states that are not sufficiently pursuing these reluctant voters.
Curiously, many of these lawsuits have been filed in states with close congressional races or that are considered swing states in the presidential election.
Few races for the U.S. Senate are closer than the contest here between Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren and incumbent Republican Scott Brown. Lo and behold, the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance was sued, lost, and ordered to send voter registration mailings to 500,000 welfare recipients.
Late last week, we learned that one of the leaders of Demos, the organization backing the lawsuit in Massachusetts, is Amelia Warren Tyagi, Elizabeth Warren’s daughter.
Brown quickly called out Warren on the electoral shenanigans, saying the effort is a taxpayer-funded get-out-the-vote drive to benefit the Harvard professor’s campaign.
“Professor Warren has more than $13 million dollars in her campaign account, and if she wants to mail every welfare recipient a voter registration form, she should do so at her own expense, not taxpayers,” Brown said in a written statement.
The voter registration effort was estimated to cost Massachusetts taxpayers $276,000.
“I want every legal vote to count, but it’s outrageous to use taxpayer dollars to register welfare recipients as part of a special effort to boost one political party over another,” Brown said in his statement.
It is, indeed, outrageous. Despite protests that it is merely an effort to sign up more voters, it’s clear that the organizers’ intent is to bring more Democratic voters to the polls. In a race as close as the Brown-Warren contest, just a small percentage of success in this voter registration drive could tip the election to Warren.
Again, there is nothing wrong with voter registration efforts. It’s the idea that taxpayers must foot the bill for a partisan political effort that’s galling.
It was Democratic policies that turned a nation of hard-working individualists into one of government-dependent benefits recipients. Now, this newly formed Democratic constituency cannot even be bothered to forgo an afternoon of Jerry Springer reruns to register to vote as the rest of us do. Taxpayers are compelled to deliver postage-paid voter registration forms direct to their couches and easy chairs so that these paragons of civic duty will not be inconvenienced in any way by the obligation to vote.
Taxpaying citizens ought to be well fed up with this nonsense. They should show their displeasure at the polls.