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The Franchise: Our Founding Fathers and the Universal Sufferance

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Josh Mitteldorf     Permalink
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Before we put someone in prison, we ask that the prosecution prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he is guilty. We are willing to let 10 guilty men go free to avoid putting one innocent man in jail. This is just as it should be.

Similarly, we must be very careful about who gets to cast a ballot in our elections. Elections are at the core of democracy, and it is a privilege – not a right – to cast a vote choosing our leaders. In their infinite wisdom, the Founding Fathers limited the franchise to males who own property. They counted Negroes as 3/5 of a person. We should heed their example.

Every person who comes to the polls on Election Day is a supplicant before The Law, appealing for the privilege of casting a ballot. We must not presume that he is Entitled.

Every vote that is cast by an alien, a terrorist, an African-American or a Jew dilutes the voting authority of our legitimate citizens. We must guard against voter fraud with the same assiduity that we guard against imprisoning an innocent man. Better that 10 rightful voters be turned away at the polls than that a single imposter be granted the sacred franchise. Better 1000, even get turned away. The important thing is not how many people get to vote, but that the right people get to vote and the wrong people do not.

The purging of 1/3 of North Carolina’s voters last week from the eligibility list was a good beginning. The wave of voter fraud bills now passing through state legislatures is long overdue. Only by cleaning up our voter registries can we assure that members of the Right Party are elected to Congress.

“Constant vigilance!” was Tom Paine’s mandate (or was it Benjamin Franklin?) Making sure that only the right people vote, we can make sure that only the right people get elected. Isn’t that what our democracy is really about?


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Josh Mitteldorf, a senior editor at OpEdNews, blogs on aging at Read how to stay young at Educated to be an astrophysicist, he has branched out from there to mathematical modeling in a (more...)

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