2019 Leg Session, Elections, Gold Dome, Uncategorized

Overbeck: Forced voter registration bill endangers abused women

In their zeal to flood the voter rolls with new potential Democrat voters, our leftist Colorado legislators never consider the serious consequences to actual human beings.

Their latest scheme, the Automatic Voter Registration bill, SB19-235, would make public the records and personal information–including addresses–of women who don’t even know their private information is on the public voter rolls for anyone to see. This bill would register them as voters whether they want to or not. These may include women in hiding from abusive spouses, ex-boyfriends, stalkers, rapists, and women who have court-granted restraining orders against the abusers of themselves and their children. These are women and children living in fear. This bill would put them and their kids in real danger.

The Automatic Voter Registration bill would mainly transfer private information from a woman signing up for Medicaid – the federal health insurance program for the poor — to register her to vote without her even knowing that suddenly her information is available to the big wide world. This may be why it’s actually a violation of federal privacy law to make personal information public as this bill seeks to do.

The sponsors of this reckless bill know this, but don’t seem to care. The bill addresses this minor glitch in the fiscal note: “Technical Note- Because federal law only allows information to be shared for purposes directly connected to Medicaid (42 CRF 431.300), the fiscal note assumes that HCPF (Colorado Dept. of Health Care Policy and Financing) will not begin sharing information for voter registration purposes until a change to, or waiver from, federal law is made.”

The Democrats want to pass a bill with mandates that are actually illegal. No matter how many times they do this (Red Flag law, etc.) their frank lawlessness is still breath-taking.

Through a bizarre labyrinth of requirements spelled out in the bill, the Colorado Secretary of State’s office also would collect information from people applying for public assistance programs. These people can be non-citizens who are not eligible to vote. So why would the Democrats want to automatically register non-citizens on welfare to vote? Feel free to take a wild guess.

The language of this bill actually admits it is completely unnecessary: “Under current law, individuals are asked if they wish to register to vote while obtaining or renewing their driver’s license, and they may decline to register. Individuals are also provided voter registration information when applying for Medicaid or other public assistance programs and may choose to register to vote.”

The difference is coercion versus choice. The Democrats don’t want to give people the choice of whether or not to register to vote, and by registering, make their private information public. This bill would coerce them, instead of letting them decide. Ballots will be sent to the homes of these “automatic voters” (unless they opt out) and their votes will be mailed in by – who knows. Nothing in this bill requires the automatically registered voter to provide proof of citizenship. Nothing.

A similar automatic voter registration law has gone horribly awry in California. The state’s “motor voter” law is currently under audit, because legislators from both parties have become alarmed at the rampant corruption of the vote due to forced registration.

“The problems with motor voter have risen to such a degree that there is a bipartisan effort in this,” Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) told the Fresno ABC affiliate.

The California DMV has admitted mishandling voter registration information for “23,000 drivers and double-registering as many as 77,000 others.”

“The errors include registering 16-year-olds to vote. We have numbers of people who had their registration changed without their approval or knowledge, and actually sending them ballots they could vote through the mail,” said Patterson.

This will happen in Colorado and women and children will be in danger if this disastrous and completely unnecessary bill passes out of the Appropriations Committee, where it is scheduled to be heard on Friday. We can stop it and preserve our legitimate citizen votes by emailing and phoning the committee members.

Joy Overbeck is a Colorado political activist and a Townhall columnist.

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