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Posted on Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 12:22 p.m.

Citizenship affirmation on ballot should not be viewed as controversial

By Letters to the Editor

Cole Bertsos' article, Washtenaw County among those choosing not to comply with ballot citizenship confirmation (9/14/12), avoids mentioning the motivation for the county refusing to ask voters to affirm their citizenship when they vote.

In a release, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson noted that the question led to the successful identification of improperly registered voters.

And certainly, anyone qualified to vote should have no difficulty whatsoever filling in a bubble to affirm their citizenship when they go to vote.

It's not as if they're being asked to produce proof. It's only an affirmation.

Therefore, it's plain to see that Johnson's directive would do nothing more than prevent non-citizens from wrongfully voting.

That Democrats would oppose this — and it is clear, it is entirely Democratic clerks and election boards doing so — indicates that Democrat officials openly condone illegal voting where they believe it will work for their benefit.

There is no other explanation for opposing a simple affirmation that one is qualified to vote. It would disenfranchise nobody.

The opposition to this common-sense rule proves that there is an agenda among some elements of the Democrat party to condone election fraud for the party's benefit.

It should not be controversial that voters should affirm they are U.S. citizens when they vote. No matter what your political beliefs, we should all agree that fair elections are the interest of all Americans.

And Democrats who believe in their party's values should be alarmed to see their party tarnished for condoning election fraud to achieve its ends.

Adam de Angeli

York Township



Sun, Sep 30, 2012 : 1:13 a.m.

The solution to this is simple. Make it a criminal offense to vote if you aren't a citizen. And make it a criminal offense keeping someone who is a citizen from voting. One thing we would know for sure is that many Republican officials would be guilty of the later. Nothing would make me happier than seeing Jeb Bush, Katherine Harris, and all Michigan Republican legislators in prison for 10-20 years. Or longer.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 4:17 p.m.

Ruth Johnson is fraud


Sat, Sep 22, 2012 : 12:48 p.m.

Basic Bob: I agree with your points except the last in that it is "silly to oppose it". Rather, it is ridiculous that it is even necessary to oppose it as it should have never been suggested. The machinations of the simple-minded must always be challenged lest we slide down their slippery slope to ruin.

Basic Bob

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 11:07 p.m.

Perhaps. It is a difficult job to increase voter participation and also ensure that voters who have moved or passed away are accurately purged from the rolls. Certainly there could be much worse fraud, either by systematically removing actual participating voters (such as Florida) or systematically maintaining fictitious voters (as alleged in Chicago, etc.). This seems like a really silly idea to require registered voters to check a silly box on the ballot application, but when you consider it comes from a career politician, one can hardly be surprised by that. I expect it will have zero effect on who votes, either legitimately or fraudulently. So it is just as silly to oppose it.

The Black Stallion3

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 10:03 a.m.

@ Middle America...............You say there is no voter fraud but your CNN says different (see link) I suppose you believe BHO is leading you in the right direction also.

Middle America

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 7:51 p.m.

People are dying as a result of pointless wars? Who cares! Dang ACORN is what is important. BHO, CNN, etc...

Middle America

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 7:49 p.m.

I have told you a few times in the past that I don't support any politician. I also don''t watch CNN or anything on cable. Keep ignoring the things I say and assume that since I state that you never make sense that I must be the president's best friend or whatever since Fox News told you that is how everyone who disagrees with you feels. Further, ACORN was another non-issue you were conned into fretting over.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 1:04 a.m.

Heaven help this country if the sheep don't stop listening to Ed Schultz and Rachel Maddow! They are the liberal equivalent of Rush Limbaugh.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 12:11 a.m.

We have prior voter registration so that officials can check to make sure voters are legal. Anyone who can vote certainly knows it's illegal to vote if you are not a citizen. What non-citizen is likely to vote and take a chance on getting caught and deported (after serving time)? What person who is not entitled to vote but wants to vote will refuse to fill in the oval? Come on. Let's get serious. The Republicans in this state have spent the last two years passing laws that prohibit running our courts under Sharia law and dozens of other nitwit acts that have no value in reality, but just show that they can thumb their noses at those who opppose them. This is just another such stupidity designed to deflect voters from voting. These guys are giving me the creeps.

The Black Stallion3

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 9:57 a.m.

MA.....thank you for the advice....I am sure Fox news is much better than what you watch so I agree with you.

Middle America

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 2:50 a.m.

"The Black Stallion3", you should read your comment and replace "CNN" with "Fox News" and take your own advice.

The Black Stallion3

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 12:15 a.m.

It might help to start paying attention to what is happening around you and not to rely on CNN for your talking points.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 11:32 p.m.

Oh goodness gracious. Checking a box won't keep anyone from voting illegally. And even in a good year only about half of Americans who can vote choose to do so. This is nothing more than Republican grandstanding to distract voters away from their desire to give more tax cuts to the rich.

Kyle Mattson

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 8:19 p.m.

Let's keep it on topic all.

The Black Stallion3

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 12:13 a.m.

Please elaborate and show evidence of your claim....Thank you.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 10:25 p.m.

What a bunch of self serving thinkers. How many of you think it wrong to have to show your drivers license when stopped? How dare they ask for ID when you write a check. How dare the schools to ask for proof of vaccinations when entering school. How dare they ask for a ticket when you enter a sporting event. Don't they all know everyone is honest and no one would ever do something dishonest? Clowns we are surrounded by clowns.


Sat, Sep 22, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

jcj: This isn't a voter ID thing - it is a stupid checkbox that doesn't do anything. If everyone eligible to vote has equal access to a standard ID that is easily verified, then I have no problem with presenting that ID. That ID doesn't exist. Whenever someone proposes it, it is shot down as too intrusive of government.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 10:45 p.m.

Photo ID is required to vote in Canada and Germany.

John Q

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 4:37 p.m.

Where in the US or Michigan Constitution does it say I have to show an ID to vote?


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 12:37 a.m.

Billy Bob Voting is our( CITIZENS) sacred right under the history, traditions, Constitutions of the nation and the state, and the laws passed thereunder.

The Black Stallion3

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 12:11 a.m.

Right on Billy Bob......and that is why we must protect that right and make sure only our citizens are exercising that right....not someone who does not deserve it.......I agree with you.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 12:02 a.m.

Wellll...Driving, check writing, vaccination, sporting events, even going to the circus to see clowns, are all irrelevant to this discussion. We are discussing **voting**! None of these other activities are in any way like voting. Voting is our sacred right under the history, traditions, Constitutions of the nation and the state, and the laws passed thereunder. Time to stop being a clown and think.

The Black Stallion3

Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 10:50 p.m.

The BHO crowd is in the follow mode.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 9:32 p.m.

The people in favor of this "affirmation" initiative are the same people who freak out when the teller at the bank asks for their ID, even though they've been account holders since 1903.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 10:27 p.m.

Wrong! I appreciate it when someone ask me for ID. That way I know someone other than myself will not represent me!


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 8:41 p.m.

I just read a story from the Sec of State of Michigan stating that 4,000 people on the voting roles were illegal. These are the ones that they could identify and they said that there was more but they cannot identify them at this time. Democrats should be ashamed of themselves for forcing people to live without photo ID! Just think of everything you do where you need a photo ID to do, even to get into the Democrat Convention you needed a photo ID! Thanks Democrats!

John Q

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 4:37 p.m.

Actually, the SoS claimed that there are 4000 people but she has no actual proof that's true. She made up the number. Democrats don't force anyone to live without a photo ID. Remember when conservatives opposed a national ID? Now conservatives want everyone to be forced to be in a government database.

Middle America

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 2:46 a.m.

Where did you read this story?

Billy Bob Schwartz

Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 11:58 p.m.

Well heck. If the (Republican) Stc of State of Michigan stated it, it certainly must be true. LOL!


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 7:48 p.m.

We ought to be trying to find ways to get more people to vote, not more little hoops to jump through. What happens if the ballot application is not checked? The person loses their vote? It is just like the hanging chads when the Republicans stole that election by a close win in Florida after throwing out any ballot that was not perfect? There is absolutely no evidence of voter fraud, but all the states with RepubliKan governors and legislatures decided to make the vote pure. To paraphrase the head of the Republican party in Pennsylvania, we passed our laws and now we will deliver the state to Romney.

Sandy Castle

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 10:53 p.m.

There is no law requiring anyone to check the box. I won't be checking the box and my vote will be counted.

Basic Bob

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 12:54 a.m.

@kmgeb2000, Universal suffrage has a VERY short history in this country - less than 50 years.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 12:51 a.m.

kmgeb2000 We did not have need for lots of things. But times change. Voting is important enough to take all the safeguards we can.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 12:02 a.m.

A question I have is that is has been 224 year since the current Constitution, and we have not had a need, so what has changed from the last two centuries?


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 10:28 p.m.

What hoop? Check a box that says you are a citizen. If you can't do that you don't vote.I am not asking you to leave the country.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 7:40 p.m.

Ruth Johnson should be fired for trying to run an illegal campaign. It was vetoed by the Governor. Why is their no action against the secretary of state? Ridiculous

Basic Bob

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 12:52 a.m.

The Secretary of State is elected directly by the voters, not appointed by the governor. The governor does not have the power to "fire" Johnson. Don't like it, you are free to start a recall campaign by filing a petition in her home county.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 7:06 p.m.

Do you know who also was opposed to this? The Republican governor of our state, who vetoed this part of the law when it came to his desk. So no, it's not just Democrats who are against this.

Middle America

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 2:46 a.m.

Yeah, try to keep up! These issues are totally different and non-related or something.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 7:42 p.m.

He vetoed the ID reqirement law, this is about checking a box. Try and keep up.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 6:20 p.m.

Conservatives, for the last time, please listen to reason. There are 146 MILLION registered voters in this country. Since 2000, there have been 10 (TEN) cases of voter impersonation. Voter Fraud statistically DOES NOT EXIST.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 10:38 p.m.

Since this is so recent, perhaps you can add this one to make "11" Enso: Democratic Candidate for Maryland's First Congressonial District, Wendy Rosen was forced to withdraw from this November's election when it was found she voted twice, once in Maryland, and once in Florida, for candidates in federal elections. She did this twice - 2006 and 2008. The only reason she was caught, was that as a candidate for a federal office, her voting record was examined and the reporter noticed she also owned property in Florida. Hmm, wonder how many snowbirds and students have figured that out as well? Between motor voter, early voter, and extended absentee rules (largely backed by....).

Middle America

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 7:45 p.m.

I don't watch cable news. Good try at coming up with statistics to support your claims though.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 5:08 p.m.

Currently there are 64,000 cases of voter fraud being investigate in NM. That is 10% of the total voter. The difficulty is proving it after the fact. There are no camera or witnesses when this happens. Because the leberals are so frighten that citizens may have to show ID to vote tells me voter fraud is rampant. Why would a legal citizen have a problem showing ID when its free to obtain.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

@Stallion From the article YOU cited: ""There are no known instances of fictitious people actually voting,"" And again, we are talking in the context of people showing up at the polls and voting when they are not who they say they are. Remember, we are talking about showing ID here. So, again, 10 cases in the last 12 years. Sorry, Conservatives, your arguments are as weak as your statistics.

The Black Stallion3

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 10:01 a.m.

Try this tell me it does not exist.....and this is from your favorite news source....CNN.

Middle America

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 2:43 a.m.

"Wanna Bet?" What stimulating conversation. If voter fraud is such a huge problem, show some statistics. Maybe it is just another non-issue to distract people from real issues. No, it couldn't be! The TV told you otherwise.

The Black Stallion3

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 12:03 a.m.

Wanna Bet?


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 10:34 p.m.

Anyone that believes there have been only 10 (TEN) cases of voter fraud. Is residing on another planet.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 10:06 p.m.

You are listening to the left wing liberal dribble way too much. It does not take a high school education to KNOW that voter fraud DOES happen. And I have NO doubt that even on the republican side the number would be way up there.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 7:07 p.m.

Exactly! No one is able to prove that voting fraud is worse that it was many years ago. This is just Republicans trying to restrict the right to vote


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 5:46 p.m.

Adam didn't say anything we didn't already know. Vote early and vote often should be the Democrats slogon

Stephen Landes

Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 5:51 p.m.

That has been their slogan for years -- they even apply it to having the dead in Chicago vote.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 5:42 p.m.

Nice inflammatory conspiracy theory. The statement: "...indicates that Democrat officials openly condone illegal voting where they believe it will work for their benefit" is somewhat of a leap, without any factual basis at all. Although, (and again I quote) "There is no other explanation" that *you* can think of, does not mean that in reality there is no other explanation. Somewhat like: "He left his shoe untied, so he must *want* to trip and break his leg!"


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 5:35 p.m.

This whole thing is nonsense. Why should I check a box saying I'm a US citizen? I'm registered to vote and that's it. If the SOS doesn't like voter registration, then that is her job to fix it. Once you start adding questions and checkboxes to the ballot, it has no end. What's to stop the next SOS from adding twenty more checkboxes. Pretty soon, you're checking boxes that have nothing to do with the actual vote. Our ballot is littered enough as it is - making it more time consuming or cumbersome is not something anybody wants. Since when were we for waste? So if you want inefficiency go ahead and raise your hand or clap for these meaningless adventures into partisanship. I know that I'm not voting for Ms. Johnson the next go-around as anyway trumpeting idiocy and waste needs to go.

Unusual Suspect

Mon, Sep 24, 2012 : 12:14 p.m.

"Will we be required to say the Pledge of Allegiance or sing the national anthem? Maybe wear a flag lapel pin?" Sounds like it would do some certain people a lot of good.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 5 p.m.

My only regret is that I could only hit the thumbs down button once.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 8:45 p.m.

Stephen: I do have problem, but reading is not it. I have a problem with anyone who wants to waste my time: lately idiotic Democrats and Republicans. I don't care where they put the checkbox and quite frankly I have a couple places where I would like to tell them to put it (or shove it). The checkbox does nothing and for the life of me I cannot understand why normally rational people (including posters like yourself) would think this is a good idea. What's next? Will we be required to say the Pledge of Allegiance or sing the national anthem? Maybe wear a flag lapel pin? Making additional requirements for voters flies in the face of the democratic principles we preach. It flies in the face of small government. It flies in the face of common sense.

Stephen Landes

Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 5:53 p.m.

1bit -- apparently you have difficulty reading. The check box is on the ballot application -- the small piece of paper where you list you address and sign -- not on the ballot itself. This is not an inconvenience, not a waste of ink or paper, or confused with issues on the ballot itself.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 5:03 p.m.

I'd expect that anyone who shouldn't vote, but is doing so anyway would just say they're a citizen. I don't see this affirmation doing anything to prevent voter fraud. Additionally, voter fraud is so rare that even if it the affirmation could do something to prevent someone from committing fraud, it's probably a waste of money for the extra ink and paper to print. Meaning that the chances that someone is actually going to try to commit fraud are very low.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 5:01 p.m.

There is no widespread voter fraud...this is just GOP trickery to try and suppress voting.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 2:40 p.m.

You're right Stallion, just go on believe whatever your right-wing media spoon-feeds you. Pay no attention to peer-reviewed journals or academic historians who have been studying the question since the country was founded. And jcj, if you don't understand logic, this conversation is over.

The Black Stallion3

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 12:01 a.m.

Please enlighten us Enso on who we can and can not trust.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 10:03 p.m.

Enso WHAT? You make no sense. Yes or no do you think it is fine for a non citizen to vote? Look out now I am going to ask that horrible question that no one apparently has the right to ask. Are you a citizen?


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 6:17 p.m.

@jcj That's a ridiculous argument. And its corollary is: "well, why not let the police or government search your house whenever they want? We are at war with Terrorists, what are you afraid of? Are you hiding something? @ Harry If you don't understand why, I'd suggest you go and read some history of this country, its Constitution and the Supreme Court. Go on, it won't hurt, it'll enlighten. Of course, the short answer to your question is because it reeks of having a poll tax.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 5:14 p.m.

If one person votes illegally its a problem. The republican hold the right to vote very close. It is extremely important that people who shouldn't vote are not voting. I never did understand why we dont show our liscense or another proof of ID to vote. I dont buy the democrats lies that old people and poor people are too stupid to obtain ID.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 5:05 p.m.

What are you afraid of? If you are legally entitled to vote this certainly will NOT keep you from voting! Unless you are advocating letting anyone vote citizen or not.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 4:54 p.m.

I don't know how checking a box will keep illegal voters from voting. Is there some satellite connected micro chip involved? That said, I don't see a problem with checking a box. Any intimidation factor is overstated. Most likely, it's just some feel good ploy put there by people who are "standing up for America".

John Q

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 4:33 p.m.

You already broke the law by affirming you were a citizen when you registered to vote. Try again with a better answer.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 5:56 p.m.

Ignatz what this will do is make prosecution easier, if you check the box and are not legal to vote, you broke the law willingly, and knowingly. With no box to check, it's hard to prove you knew you were braking the law. I personlly know one person who recieved a voter registration card in the mail and was bragging she was going to vote, until I explained she could go to jail if she did vote. I even called the election office and they didn't want to do anything about it until I threatened them with calling the local news.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 4:46 p.m.

I dunno for sure but I think the voter suppression effort behind this is kind of controversial.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 4:46 p.m.

It is amazing that the democrats disrespect all the people who have died for our right to vote by persuing a law that will let anyone in the country vote. This is slap in the face to every American citizen.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 4:06 p.m.

@kmgeb2000 What has changed? The country has at least the estimated 10.8 million illegal immigrants, and we have no check on them. The president of the United states has violated the constitution by creating legislation to allow younger illegals to not be deported. The administration is not executing its constitutional duty to protect states from invasion. The check box is merely meant as a deterrent to these individuals who should be expelled form our country, from voting illegally.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 11:56 p.m.

By your account, for the last 224 years (date from current Constitution) we all have been disrespecting every American citizen. We have, in a sense, been disrespecting ourselves. This is what you are saying, as America has not had a "check-box" at anytime before this. Wouldn't you have thought that people like Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt(s), Truman, Kennedy, and Reagan would have felt the need if there was a need? Kind of suggests this is not the right thing to do, or the need would have been apparent to someone over the last two CENTURIES.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 4:32 p.m.

If the voter is "legal", this should not make any difference at all. I'm amazed that anyone who wants to vote, legal or not, can do so with virtually no safeguard to prevent them from doing so. Amazing.