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October 27, 2004
Florida Unions, Attorneys Argue Minorities Are More Incompetent

People need to understand the difference between disenfranchisement and incompetence in terms of voting and registration. Disenfranchisement results from direct government action in denying valid voters the right to cast their ballots. Incompetence is a potential voter who isn't bright or thorough enough to fill out a ballot or registration card correctly. Florida unions and attorneys were disappointed yesterday to find this out in federal court, where they offered the odd and specious argument that minorities are more incompetent than others:

Florida election officials will not be required to process incomplete voter registration forms for the presidential election, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King said the three prospective voters for whom the lawsuit was filed did not have the legal standing to pursue the case, which was backed by the AFL-CIO. ... Attorneys with the Washington-based Advancement Project said the plaintiffs would appeal by Friday. The group argued that the rejections disqualified more than 14,000 people across the state, with a disparate effect on minorities. Nearly 45 percent of the challenged forms in one county, Duval, came from blacks.

It makes no difference if the registrations came from blacks, whites, Greens, or left-handed mauvish CPAs. If the registrant didn't complete the form correctly, they need to refile their registrations. Part of voting is the responsibility to make sure one is registered to vote properly. With registration requirements as lax as they are these days, how much of a hurdle does that present?

Playing the race card is especially despicable and condescending. Does the AFL-CIO really intend to argue to an appellate judge than minorities are inherently unable to take responsibility for their own voter registration? Perhaps they will tell the judge that filling out a form with check boxes presents too difficult a challenge for the African-Americans in Duval County, an argument that minorities throughout Florida should detest. It's nothing more than an incitement for Democrats to arftificially undermine the results of the election.

If a voter of any ethnicity cannot be trusted to properly fill out a voter registration card, especially with the relaxed requirements now in place, we surely cannot be better off by allowing them to pull the lever on November 2nd.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 27, 2004 6:44 AM

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