What if Registering to Vote was Treated the Same as Getting a Gun Permit?

What if you went into the town hall to register to vote and got a similar run-around as people in Massachusetts get when applying for a license to carry a firearm?

Imagine you go in and tell the clerk you want to register to vote; essentially a voter’s permit. You’re told you meet all the criteria; you’re old enough, you’re a citizen, you have no criminal past but still they tell you they don’t feel you’re a suitable person to hold such an important permit/registration and be on the voter rolls. You will need to come back and be interviewed by the Delegated Voter Registration Authority and he will decide if you can be registered to vote or not. Further, you are told that in your particular town the Delegated Voter Registration Authority has added a number of other steps of his own to the process and that even though some of these steps are not codified in state law and they vary from town to town and even over time in any given town, nonetheless you must comply with them if you want to have any chance to be granted your constitutional right to vote. You’ll need a letter from three people you’re not related to, testifying as to your suitability, demeanor and character. You’ll need to take a course and pass a test related to voting and how it’s done. You’ll need to be photographed, fingerprinted and have a background check done and also pay one hundred dollars for the permission to exercise what you thought was a constitutional right.

The answer is supposed to come within thirty days, as per the actual codified law, and if you are denied you are to be told in writing but instead you are made to wait sixty then ninety days. Because you don’t want to anger the person who holds your right to vote in his hands, you wait patiently for as long as it takes. When you’ve had enough and finally inquire as to where things are in this process you are told “Yes, you seem like an OK person but I still don’t think we want voters such as you on the voter rolls so the registration is being denied.”

But it’s a constitutional right you say.

Yes but it’s a “may issue” not a “shall issue” voter registration state and as such I, the Delegated Voter Registration Authority, have the power to approve who gets to exercise that right in this town. However, if you want to you can hire an attorney at your own expense and you can file an appeal with the district court and perhaps, just maybe, they will override my decision. It may take weeks, months or years but there is a chance that they will see things your way and allow you to register to vote.

Or perhaps they won’t.

Thus, despite meeting all of the legal requirements and criteria to be a registered voter, you are not allowed to exercise this important constitutional right.

Who here would tolerate this?

The left hits the ceiling if you ask voters to simply have an ID to prove who they are before they vote but someone who wants to exercise a constitutional right, enumerated in the Bill of Rights, and second only to freedom of speech, religion and the press, can be denied at the caprice of an unelected individual in the town where they live. Worse still, our legislature, just recently, wanted to expand this power to have it apply to long guns as well.

It’s either a right or it’s not and the Supreme Court of the US has decided it is an individual right (District of Columbia v. Heller) and that it applies to state and local governments as well (McDonald v. City of Chicago).

Funny, it doesn’t seem that way when you have to beg.

“A man with a gun is a citizen; a man without a gun is a subject.”