In his State Of The Union Address on February 12, President Obama cited a number of new initiatives on which he intended the federal government to take action. The area that understandably caused the biggest furor was the president’s reference to his proposals for increased federal restrictions on private firearm ownership, which he had outlined the previous month in a national address capitalizing on the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
Another proposal of the president focused on “one of the most fundamental rights of a democracy: the right to vote.” After the applause died down, President Obama declared: “When any Americans, no matter where they live or what their party, are denied that right because they can’t afford to wait for five or six or seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying our ideals.” More enthusiastic applause.
“So tonight,” said the president, “I’m announcing a nonpartisan commission to improve the voting experience in America. And it definitely needs improvement.”
Last week, on March 28, just before the Easter weekend, the White House press office released President Obama’s latest executive order, on the “Establishment of the Presidential Commission of Election Administration.”
The creation of the new commission appears to portend even greater activism and interference by the administration in the upcoming mid-term elections than it has already shown itself capable of in the 2012 elections. President Obama’s Department of Justice, recall, sued to block state efforts at implementing voter identification laws that had been passed by state legislatures to prevent voter fraud. The administration did not hesitate to trespass on this constitutionally reserved right of the states, but joined with media allies and Democrat activists in denouncing these sensible measures as “voter suppression,” and, of course, suggesting that the measures were racist in nature and aimed at disenfranchising black and Hispanic voters. At the same time, the DOJ chose not to pursue action against militant Black Panther activists that were actually involved in voter suppression through threats and intimidation at polling places.
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