Voting from the grave

The Madison County Record Jul. 28, 2012, 6:41am

Tradition may be defined as an extension of the franchise. Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. – G.K. Chesterton

British essayist and novelist Gilbert Keith Chesterton objected, vehemently and consistently, to the modern fetish of tossing out the wisdom of the ages in favor of the latest fad.

Despite his great regard for the wisdom of our ancestors, he did not advocate giving them actual voting booth ballots to be cast by living proxies. The dead are enfranchised through tradition alone. Keeping them on the rolls post mortem is nothing short of fraud.

Nevertheless, election officials all across America are fighting fast and furious to protect the "right" of unidentified living persons to masquerade as the dearly departed and vote in their stead – from the U.S. Justice Department in Washington all the way down to the Board of Elections in East St. Louis.

"With 19,520 registered voters as of January 13, 2012, and only 19,000 persons over the age of 18 [in East St. Louis], according to the United States Census Bureau's 2010 report, it seems that we have now a major case of over-registration," laments Matt Hawkins of the East St. Louis Alliance for Change.

Bearing in mind that the registration of eligible voters is never anywhere near 100 percent, there could be several thousand fraudulent votes in East St. Louis alone: easily enough, compounded nationwide, to sway an election.

It's way past time to end this abuse – for the sake of the living, for the sake of future generations, and for the sake of the dead who left us a legacy of liberty.

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