Thoughts from the ammo line

Ammo Grrrll recalls MY FIRST ELECTION. She writes:

A study has confirmed what everybody already suspected: in 2008 some 5.7 MILLION non-citizens voted. I do not know if that also includes the dead, the felonious, and the enthusiastic voters who voted many times. Can’t happen; racist to suggest it does, says The Left.

Bovine excrement, says Ammo Grrrll. Mine eyes have seen the glory. The year was 1964 and I had just turned 18 a month earlier. I was a freshman in college at Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois. I was a Goldwater Girl. The voting age was still 21, so I was not even eligible to vote, but I was keenly interested in the election.

The Republicans were looking for volunteers to be Poll-Watchers, preferably volunteers from way out of town who were not aware of the places we were about to be sent in Chicago.

It would have been difficult to find anyone more sheltered than I was that Fall, anyone more likely to have just fallen off the turnip truck. And so my new boyfriend – the only one before Mr. AG — who would not even turn 18 until late December, and I signed up to be Poll-Watchers on the South Side of Chicago, at 63rd and Cottage Grove. Seriously.

As we rode from Evanston south on the El at 5 a.m., we held hands and felt like we were important little cogs in the democratic process. At some point the two little old ladies with net shopping bags who had been sitting across from us yakking in Polish got off the El. We did not yet realize that ours were now the only white faces we would see for the next 18 hours. And we still had several more stops to go before our destination. This did not really disturb us, mainly because we were too naive to be worried.

We arrived about 6:30 and went into the polling place and introduced ourselves with some sort of letter from the state Republicans. The Democrats were already there and, not surprisingly, were all black. In fact, two of them had just volunteered to be the “Republican” poll-watchers. They seemed frankly astonished to see two little white teenagers.

We sat at our own little table with tablets to “observe” and take notes on any “irregularities.” The irregularities began right out of the box as our first voter got his paper ballot, went into the voting booth and emerged almost immediately feeling “sick,” and quickly running off.

We had been alerted to this. We were told that the ward heelers were paying for votes. But how to guarantee that your bribed voters actually voted “right”? I mean, you can’t eliminate sheer stupidity. Remember the “butterfly” ballot in Florida? Here’s the solution: Just have the first guy pocket and bring out a BLANK ballot. Then the Precinct Captain marks the ballot himself and gives it to the next guy in line, who puts it in his pocket, gets a blank one from the person handing them out, puts the pre-marked one in the ballot box and returns the pocketed blank one to the Captain to be marked again. It was called “chain” balloting. Clever!

My boyfriend went outside to look at the line and saw the Precinct Captain openly handing out dollar bills. Later when they ran out of dollar bills, they were handing out pounds of bacon out of a cooler. This went on all day long.

We were writing furiously. Eventually, the polls closed and it was time to count the ballots. At this point, an imposing woman came over and told us we could leave now. She said that because we were not 21, we were actually not eligible to be poll-watchers at all, especially during the counting. (Well done, Republicans!) She said they could have got rid of us earlier, but agreed to let us stay until the counting since we had come such a long way.

We didn’t argue. Back in the day, teenagers didn’t argue with adults, let alone scream obscenities at them. It was now pitch black out and two long city blocks back to the El stop.

When we got back to campus, I ran into a tough Italian Chicago native who was in my Advanced French class. He was an older student, a Social Work major and part-time youth worker working with gangs on the South Side. He said we were lucky to be alive. First of all, we had no money and absolutely nothing worth stealing, and secondly, perhaps the Lord dispatches special angels to guard the terminally stupid.

Goldwater, of course, would experience a decisive, yea, crushing defeat, winning the electoral votes of just five Southern states, plus Arizona. It made me wonder why the Democrats had bothered to squander money on votes. But who knows how many votes were not only paid for but counted multiple times in Chicago, in Detroit, in East St. Louis, in Milwaukee?

In the most recent special election that Ms. Handel won, uh, “handily,” the losing losers cried losingly that there was “voter suppression” by such racist events as A Rainy Night in Georgia. Evidently only Democrats are afraid to get wet. Sad. Here’s a new entitlement: mandatory umbrellas on Election Day! (Yeah, I know; don’t give them any ideas!)

The problem with dead people and non-citizens voting, with people going from polling place to polling place doing “same-day” registration in Minnesota, is not simply that it absolutely perverts one man-one vote democracy. But if 300 ineligible voters cast ballots for Al Franken, say – felons, non-citizens, the deceased – obviously that means the other side needs 300 legitimate ballots just to pull the counter back to zero. It is outrageously unfair.

From that November day in 1964 to the present, I have never really had much confidence in the integrity of the electoral process. And I will never, ever believe the bald-faced lie that there is little or no cheating in elections. I have seen it with my own eyes and no race-baiting demagogue will ever convince me otherwise. There is one reason and one reason alone not to clean up the voter rolls and not to have to show picture ID to vote and that is to enable cheating. Period. That the citizens of my former home state voted the Picture ID measure down in flames is just one more yuge reason I am glad to call Arizona home.

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