By Pat Hughes
Long before Hillary Clinton and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz were colluding with MSNBC to tilt the Democratic Presidential Primary to Hillary, the Chicago Machine was manipulating the outcome of election after election after election. Most famously, the first Mayor Daley was widely believed to have rigged the 1960 Presidential Election in favor of John F. Kennedy. It’s the Chicago Way, after all. And, it is still alive and well in Illinois. No longer content to merely buy votes or add the dearly departed to the roll of eligible voters, Democrats recently wielded their super-majority power in Springfield to codify their tradition of election day malfeasance.
In 2014, Illinois Democrats, led by Mike Madigan and an outgoing Governor Pat Quinn, enacted (on a straight party-line vote) a system for Election Day voter registration exclusively designed to increase the number of Democrat voters. The scheme requires the twenty Illinois counties with 100,000 or more residents to offer Election Day voter registration at all polling places. However, the law does not require the eighty-two counties with less than 100,000 residents to offer Election Day voter registration at all polling places – making it more difficult for people to register and vote in some areas of the state than in others.
The measure is brazenly political. According to a lawsuit filed last week by the Liberty Justice Center, Democratic candidates already perform significantly better in high-population counties. In statewide elections from 2004 through 2014, Democratic candidates received more than three fifths (62.1%) of the two party vote in counties with more than 100,000 residents. During that same time, Republican candidates received 54.1% of the vote in lower population counties. Thus, the Democrats’ Election Day Registration scheme will increase the rate and number of Democratic voters relative to Republican voters, by ensuring that Democratic voters have more places to register and vote.
It’s just one more part of a rigged system designed to help the powerful stay in power so they can wreak more havoc on those of us who play by the rules.
Under Illinois Democrats, the state’s security and productivity have been decimated. Yet they persist by any means – regardless of whose rights they trample and whose lives they decimate. Sure, we won the Governor’s Office. But unless the people of Illinois find the will to end the reign of the legislative despots who have conspired to rig everything – even who gets to vote when and where – we will never break Illinois’ fall.
From now until Election Day, we must work to elect new legislators to the Illinois General Assembly. Legislators who are neither beholden to those in power or afraid to demolish the status quo. Legislators who believe in free markets, free minds and smaller government. Legislators who know they work for us. We have been pushed around for far too long. It’s time we pushed back.
‘Early and Often,’ Pat Hughes (SB 172), January 2015
‘Unmasking the Will to Power,’ Pat Hughes (HB 105), July 2014