Voting fraud on the part of Louisiana Democrats is as old as time, but Clinton gave them a hand in making their efforts a little easier. Clinton and his boys in Congress passed the National Voter Registration Act in 1994, supposedly to incite voter participation by producing a higher quantity of registered voters. Wow, was that a mistake.
All this legislation accomplished was to clog the voting rolls of every American state with thousands of duplicate and fake registrations. Registration rolls grew by 20% from 1994-1998. Here is the problem as stated by John Samples of the Cato Institute testifying before a Senate Committee in 2001:
Enhanced voter registration was never an end in itself. Many activists and experts believed the United States suffered from declining voter participation and that increasing registration would lead to higher voter turnout. Both of these beliefs have turned out to be wrong.” He goes on to say that, “The Act has brought about a substantial increase in the number of registered voters. However, that increase has been bought at a high price. Specifically, the Act has made it difficult if not impossible to maintain clean registration rolls, a major purpose of the law.”
In other words, what the Act accomplished by easing restrictions on the registration system was create loopholes that were exploited by Democrats with the influx of fradulent voter registration. And what might be the purpose is creating false and duplicative voter registration? Samples puts it best in his testimony:
Looked at technically, registration fraud is not the same as vote fraud. However, as a practical matter, we should ask why anyone would go to the trouble of committing registration fraud if they did not intend to follow through and commit vote fraud. Otherwise, committing registration fraud becomes a senseless act. Are we to believe that individuals commit registration fraud for thrills or simply as a practical joke? The existence of fraudulent registrations suggests the greater threat of a corrupt election, a danger that we dismiss at our peril. Given the state of the registration rolls, a major vote fraud disaster remains a distinct possibility.”
That possibility of major vote fraud became a reality in Louisiana pre-Katrina and prior to Jay Dardenne’s opposition to fraudulent registration activities. Look at the numbers. In Louisiana before Dardenne’s reforms, registered Democrat voters made up 52.5% of registered voters. Republicans composed 25.3% of the voters. It is impossible to say that such a stark contrast existed between the numbers of registered Democrats and Republicans without any form of registration fraud. Indeed, a 1997 U.S. Senate investigation into Louisiana voting fraud revealed more than 1,400 cases in which two voters used the same social security number. And that doesn’t count blatantly fradulent and fabricated registrations.
So, voting fraud did exist, and it existed mainly with the Democrats as beneficiaries. But why Democrats? The radical voting registration group ACORN, funded by the left-wing Soros Institute,was founded by activists involved in the National Welfare Rights Organization, a group dedicated to the Cloward-Piven tactic. Cloward-Piven originated as a scheme designed to fradulently register American citizens for welfare with the hope that the the massive flood of beneficiaries would destroy the entitlement program and cause a revolution towards socialism. Yes, scary. The relevance of this tactic is that it is the same one use by ACORN, which coincidently was under an FBI investigation for conducting voter fraud during Dardenne’s stint as Secretary of State. ACORN’s headquarters in located in New Orleans.
Before Katrina, ACORN and other left-wing groups used the loopholes of the National Voter Registration Act in combination with the Cloward-Piven strategy to produce the majority of Lousiana Democrat support. Some might go as far as to say Landrieu won her Senate seat from adversaries Woody Jenkins and Suzie Terrell exclusively on the support of the Democrat’s fradulent voting-machine.
Then Katrina hit and all madness broke loose. The implications of a disaster like Katrina on such a tenuous and easily exploited voter registration system are terrible. Imagine the insensitivity of registration fraud using the identification of dead and displaced Louisianians from Katrina. Jay Dardenne won the office of Secretary of State in 2006 on the ticket of providing reform to a corrupt system. And he delivered. In 2008, a New York Times article was published addressing the issue of the legality of Secretaries of State purging voter rolls (really a ridiculous premise but the facts are what matter). According to the article, “In Louisiana, at least 18,000 people were dropped from the rolls in the five weeks after July 23.”
The Independent Weekly claims even greater numbers, citing that, “the voter purge in question involves 25,165 names removed from the rolls between July 23 and Aug. 27.” In addition, the Democratic Party spokesman in Louisiana at the time, Scott Jordan, declared that “based on an initial review, there appears to be approximately three times as many Democrats and independents as Republicans on the list of recently canceled voters.”
Obviously the reason for this discrepency can be attributed to the statistics of registered voters mentioned earlier: Democrats made up 52.5% , Republicans 25.3%, and Independents 22.3% of the registered voters. The purges were conducted fairly, efficiently, and with relatively little controversy. They were fair in that according to a Times Picayune article, Dardenne cut the voter roll in proportion to partisian shares of the registration. About 56% of the cuts were to Democratic voters, 22% were to Republicans, and 24% Independents. The highest discrepency is between that of the cuts to Democrats and their 52.5% representation on the voter rolls. And I don’t believe anyone is complaining too much about that.
Not only was this purge beneficial to state Conservatives and largely the reason why Louisiana is a conservative friendly environment today, but the way in which Dardenne handled the inevitable swirl of controversy surrounding the purges was highly commendable. Of course, response from the Louisiana state Democratic Party was loud and obnoxious. Dardenne quieted this with expert diplomacy, sending a 3 page letter to the headquarters flatly providing the facts he had uncovered about voting irregularities and ending with this statement:
I hope you will conclude from this response that a law suit is neither necessary nor appropriate.”
There was no suit filed.
A specific example of the State Democratic Party’s attempt to fradulently register masses of voters is detailed in an article from The Advocate. In 2008, Dardenne spearheaded an investigation into the Voting is Power movement: based out of Washington, sponsored by the Muslim American Society, and funded by Louisiana Democrats. The investigation was conducted after the group flooded the registrars with 70,000 registration forms, most of which were fabricated. Several individuals even had the audacity to register under the name George W. Bush. Dardenne put an end to it.
What is the proof that Dardenne’s voter roll reforms have bolstered the conservative movement in Louisiana? I can present a powerful example in Joseph Cao’s election to the House of Representatives in 2009. In his campaign in the Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district against incumbent William Jefferson, Cao won by the narrow margin of 2.8% in a district that had a long standing tradition of Democratic representation. In fact the Democrat incumbent, Jefferson, was defending a nine-term (yes 9 term) streak of representation in Congress. That narrow margin of 2.8% in a voting district with a decades long record of Democrat representation can be explained in the voter reforms enacted several years before and overseen responsibly since by Jay Dardenne.
We are lucky to have had a responsible Republican serving as Secretary of State in the immediate post-Katrina era. Otherwise, not only would conservatives have less influence today, but the voter rolls would be rife with dead bodies, fabricated characters, and multiple personalities. Simply on principle, the reform effort is laudable in its ability to maintain some dignity in our electoral system.