Red Maryland is AGAINST Question 2
The Maryland General Assembly adopted a constitutional amendment this year that allows for same-day voter registration.
The description of the amendment reads:
Authorizes the General Assembly to enact legislation to allow a qualified individual to register and vote at a precinct polling place on Election Day. The current law requires voter registration to close before Election Day.
The Editors of Red Maryland are against Question 2 and encourage you to vote against it. Read on to find out why.
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You may be asking yourself why such a constitutional amendment would be needed in the first place.
Well, it’s not.
Most people do not appreciate that how easy it is to vote in Maryland. Currently, to register to vote in Maryland you can:
- Register in person at the State Board of Elections;
- Register in person at your county Board of Elections;
- Register when updating your driver’s license;
- Register when obtaining any other government social services;
- Register at an early voting polling place;
- Register to vote online.
There are already any number of ways that one can already register to vote without waiting until the last possible minute. The General Assembly expanded those as, passing a law today that turns voter registration agencies such as the MVA into automatic voter registration agencies that require a citizen to opt-out of the voter registration requirement if they wish to not be registered.
This push for same-day voter registration hearkens back to the push to have early voting in the first place. One of the excuses used for same-day voter registration is Democratic claims that it’s too hard to vote. Let us remind you that current to vote in Maryland, you can:
- Vote in person on election day;
- Vote in person at an early voting polling place;
- Vote by absentee ballot, as Maryland does not require you to have an excuse in order to vote absentee.
As a reminder, none of this actually increases voter turnout as studies have shown that voter turnout decreases when early voting is available.
The same study shows that voter participation increases with same-day voter registration. That, truly, is what Democrats are looking for. But if you think that this is going to be an improvement to our elections, you are going to be sorely mistaken.
One change to election law that Democrats have been steadfastly against is voter identification. Oddly, most Marylanders assume that you need to show an ID to vote already; we have discussed on Red Maryland Radio about how when he worked polling places on election day that voters often had their ID’s in their hands when approaching the table to check-in. Democrats have professed to be steadfastly against voter ID because of their insistence that requesting an ID to vote would lead to voter intimidation and the assertion that voters would be required to pay for a state ID.
Voters are not required to present ID in order to vote. They aren’t required to present an ID when registering to vote, though an MVA number can be associated with their voter registration. And if voter ID is not required in order to vote, voter ID is not going to be required to register to vote and subsequently vote on election day.
And that is a serious problem.
Allowing for same-day voter registration and voting on election day would be problematic enough. But you have to remember Maryland’s sordid history with election fraud, particularly the case of walking around money. Walking around money is money given by parties and campaigns to city supporters in order to turn out the vote on election day. In theory, the money is used to offset the expenses of volunteers for get-out-the-vote activities. The reality, of course, is much more sordid, with money often exchanging hands for votes. Vote buying has a long history in Maryland, going back to the Democrats handing out rum to the voters as they headed to the polls. None of this is new.
Imagine what walking around money could do for a campaign with same-day voter registration in the mix? Especially in a state without voter identification laws. There would be nothing stopping a campaign from bussing in people from out of state to register to vote. There would be nothing stopping a campaign from turning out non-citizens to vote. There would be nothing to stop a campaign from sending people to register to vote at multiple polling places using fake names. All of these things are on the table with this constitutional amendment.
Most people think that institutionalizing voter fraud is a bug. Maryland Democrats apparently think it’s a feature.
Strangely the Democrats have already made the amendment irrelevant bypassing that automatic voter registration bill. If people starting in 2019 are to be automatically registered to vote there is no need to have a same-day voter registration mechanism in place because those people already wishing to participate will be registered. What is the need for election day voter registration if everybody who wants be registered is already registered?
This constitutional amendment is merely the Maryland Democratic Party’s attempt to game the system to save itself. Knowing that people are turning away from the Democrats in droves, they figure that they might as well think of new and creative ways to steal an election. And make no mistake about it; this constitutional amendment will give Democrats new and creative ways to steal an election and to disenfranchise the voters of Maryland.
And that is why Red Maryland encourages you to vote no on Question 2.