By this point, you’d have to been under a rock to not realize that CASA de Maryland is going to court to try to overturn the will of the people who have signed petitions to put the issue of instate tuition for illegal aliens.
Now the issue of whether or not the question is eligible for ballot questions status due to its status as a budget issue is a legitimate question and a legitimate concern. I personally don’t think it qualifies for that status, but it is an legit question.
However, this is the second prong of their lawsuit. And it is absolutely infuriating. From the Post story:
If the measure was eligible for the ballot, the lawsuit asserts another flaw. It says opponents do not have enough valid signatures, primarily because those that were collected using new Internet software should be thrown out.
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The online tool was developed this year by a Maryland Republican lawmaker in anticipation of a future ballot-box fight over same-sex marriage. It helped nearly 44,000 voters print and file petitions with their names, addresses and other information listed exactly as recorded in state voter rolls.Such precision is essential because any discrepancy can invalidate a petitioner’s signature.
The tool helped a small group of conservative organizers shatter previous records for statewide signature gathering and has emboldened Maryland’s Republican minority, with some lawmakers already threatening to use the ballot box routinely as a check on the state’s Democratic-controlled General Assembly.
The prospect of such efforts makes the integrity of the new system all the more important, said one of the lawyers challenging the petition.
“There’s no safeguard. If someone knows your name, Zip code and date of birth, which might be on your Facebook page, the computer will print out that information exactly,” said Joseph E. Sandler, a top election-law lawyer and former general counsel for the Democratic National Committee, whose firm is litigating the case pro bono for the plaintiffs. “There is no way to make sure the voter whose name appears on the petition is the one who printed it out and signed it.
“Maryland law makes this deliberately difficult,” Sandler added. “We live in a representative democracy. We don’t live by mob rule; not every law is supposed to go to the voters.”
Now read that once again. Now apply the standard that CASA de Maryland wants to apply to these petition signatures to say….voter registration.
CASA de Maryland and their allies have been very vocal about opposing strict standards of identification for voting. If you take a look at CASA’s complaint regarding signature collection, the standard that they support is much stricter than the standard that they support for voters going to the polls on election day.
Never mind the fact that CASA’s complaints are invalid, because the signature on the petition still needs to match the signature that is on file with the Board of Elections, but that isn’t the story here. The story is this: why exactly does CASA de Maryland believe that there should be a higher standard for voters who are signing a petition than there should be for individuals (you can’t event say registered voters) who show up to vote at the polls on election day?
I have a funny feeling that CASA’s strict ID standard here is nothing more than situational ethics as it relates to the fact that the people of Maryland have stood strong against a bill that promotes illegal activity. Their stance on this issue is completely hypocritical. Thought I would enjoy CASA de Maryland’s support in coming forth with a strict voter identification law during the 2012 General Assembly session that mimics the strict petition signature standards that they are purportedly supporting through their frivolous lawsuit…