Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mike Bishop Runs to Cox to Block Absentee Voting

Why does Mike Bishop hate college kids? Why does he want to stop them from voting absentee? And he brings this up now?

Think you already know the answer to this one. Do we really have to spell it out?

A Republican legislative leader says a program designed by county clerks to boost absentee voting by college students is illegal and has asked Attorney General Mike Cox to determine if it should be blocked.

First-time voters who registered to vote by mail or through a third-party organization must under Michigan law apply for an absentee ballot in person so local clerks in the jurisdiction they are registered can verify their identity.

Helping students to avoid that drive back home, 66 of 83 county clerks across Michigan have cross-deputized each other. That allows a college student with a voting address on the other side of the state to have their identify verified by the clerk in the county where they go to school. The student then can mail in an absentee ballot application from her college residence.

This program was approved and backed by Terri Lynn herself, and the clerks are a little miffed that Bishop is out there impugning their integrity - but certain Republicans like Mike Bishop think that if they are about to lose, why, it must be fraud. This is either a case of classic denial, or perhaps other forces put him up to the task. The world may never know.

"These independent actions by certain clerks may open up our election process to greater opportunities for voter fraud and consequently further damage the credibility of the election process," Bishop wrote in his opinion request this week.

Not so say the clerks who designed the program. Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land backs the program as well.

Ottawa County Clerk Dan Krueger, a Republican, said geography shouldn't impair the right to vote and was annoyed Bishop would infer that the elected clerks who took an oath to uphold the law would be enabling voter fraud.

Yup. He's annoying all right. Been there, done that, the list grows every time he opens his mouth, and now here is another example of where Bishop will act out of partisan desire alone to stop others from expressing their opinion. Do you think he would care if it were McCain riding this wave?

Mike Cox would not comment on the request.

UPDATE: Cox rules against this program -

Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox released an opinion today that first-time voters who have registered to vote by mail or with a third-party group must vote in person on Nov. 4 and can’t qualify for an absentee ballot.

The opinion thwarts efforts by local and county clerks to try to help first-time voters, especially college students cast absentee ballots.

Terri, care to respond? Since the SOS supported this program, can it be held that the SOS misled these voters? THAT won't look good on the permanent record. Probably be used against you in a primary. Might want to look into it.