Return to Common Sense

September 29, 2018

Section: Domestic – Elections

Government must return to its roots of term limited citizen legislature, with simpler and easier elections, governing from their home districts, and voter identification guaranteed with overseas servicemen’s votes counted.

We should educate and inform the whole mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of liberty.” Thomas Jefferson.


Philosophy (Background, Issues, Objectives):

Government was designed to serve the people.

Electoral College is designed to protect states rights and power.

Constitution 17th Amendment (1912) changed from Senator selection by their state legislature to direct popular election.

The Permanent Appointment Act in 1929 fixed the size of the House.

Redistricting of election boundaries has resulted in artificial districts.

·         James Madison in Federalist No. 55 said that the number of representatives will be augmented from time to time in the manner provided by the Constitution.

o   Originally the size of the House was adjusted every 10 years based on census results.

o   Public Law 62-5, 1911, set the number of members of the House of Representatives at 435.

o   Today each representative represents over 700,000 people.

·         Gerrymandering based on the 1965 Voting Rights Act redraws voting maps to deliver safe political districts, election after election.

o   The U.S. Supreme Court had interpreted the relevant provision (Section 2) as applying only where it was possible to create a majority-black district when whites had been demonstrably voting as a bloc to deny black voters an equal opportunity to elect the candidates of their choice.

o   Gerrymandering has defined voting districts that are uniform and deliver “automatic” voting results.

o   An unintended consequence of gerrymandering is a suppressed voter turnout since the result is “rigged.”

o   Boundaries defined to artificially combine uniform voting constituents.

o   Voting districts do not align with local and municipal government boundaries.

Political party candidate selection has become excessively expensive and time consuming.

o   The succession of state primaries is very expensive.

§  Candidates can choose to campaign or not on a state by state basis.

o   It is estimated that $5 billion will be spent on the 2008 presidential and congressional election cycle.

o   It is estimated that $1 billion will be spent on the two presidential nominees alone.

o   Large donors used 527 organizations to channel contributions to target politicians.

o   Seven of the Top 10 political contributors are labor unions and predominantly Democrat.

o   2005 only 9% of filers elected to support the Presidential Election Campaign Fund.

o   BCRA reforms aimed at political parties did not limit money but rather scatter it throughout the system.

o   Due to the differences between the two political parties in America, the BCRA dispersion of finances tends to benefit Democrats because their political culture includes more allied groups who benefit from a distributional big bang.

Government officials have lost their credibility with the American public.

Term limits have been instituted in several states.

Participation in national elections is around 50% of eligible voters.

o   Voter fraud has been caught haphazardly as no identification requirement impedes enforcement.

Both major political parties sponsor voter registration efforts.

o   Chicago Democrats have a long history of stolen votes since the 1980’s.

o   In 1984 the case was publicized where for 14 years Brooklyn Democrat politicians operated a successful voting-fraud ring responsible for thousands of fraudulent votes.

o   In 2007 a voting rights lawsuit in Noxubee, MS shut down a Democrat scheme to guarantee elections by fraudulently voting using dead and moved voters.

o   ACORN has never tried to hide that it was a Democrat voting and advocacy organization.

§  ACORN has been accused of providing liberal causes with protest-for-hire services and coerced donations from the targets of demonstrations through a mob-style "protection" racket.

o   The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform published a paper that both documented ACORN's widespread criminal activities, and determined that appropriate legal remedies for this criminal organization include applying the RICO statutes to seize their assets:

§  ACORN has evaded taxes, obstructed justice, engaged in self dealing, and aided and abetted a cover-up of the $948.607.50 embezzlement by Dale Rathke, the brother of ACORN founder Wade Rathke.

§  ACORN has committed investment fraud, deprived the public of its right to honest services, and engaged in a racketeering enterprise affecting interstate commerce.

§  ACORN has committed a conspiracy to defraud the United States by using taxpayer funds for partisan political activities.

§  ACORN has submitted false filings to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Labor, in addition to violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

§  ACORN falsified and concealed facts concerning an illegal transaction between related parties in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

o   At least 55 ACORN employees and individuals associated with ACORN have been convicted of voter fraud.

§  Voter fraud is a blanket term coined by lawyers to refer to fraudulent voting, identity fraud, perjury, voter registration fraud, forgery, and a variety of crimes in related to the electoral process in 11 states.

§  In Pennsylvania, official are investigating ACORN for filing fraudulent voter registrations and one ACORN worker is facing 19 counts of perjury for making false statements.

§  In Ohio there were four counties where voter registration exceeded the number of voting-age people in the counties.

§  In Michigan, ACORN enrolled 200,000 voters and a sizable number of duplicate and fraudulent applications.

§  In Wisconsin election officials turned in 32 more voter registration workers to the district attorney’s office for possible prosecution, bringing the total to 39.

§  In Colorado, ACORN registered some individuals 40 separate times.

§  In Nevada, nearly 1,000 felons were illegally registered to vote in 2004.

§  The Clark County, Nevada, registrar claims that there has been rampant fraud, and counts roughly 40% of registration applications submitted by ACORN from January through July had been rejected or questioned.

§  In Washington State, felony charges were brought against ACORN workers and some went to jail.

o   FBI has initiated a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) investigation into the series of ACORN voting abuses as a criminal enterprise.

§  Employees who did not meet quota of 20 new voters daily were fired.

§  ACORN considered 40% an acceptable level of accurate registrations turned in.

§  ACORN briefed workers how to deny that voter registration fraud existed.

§  Of 1.3 million new registrations ACORN turned in in 2008, election officials rejected 400,000.

o   The Secretary of State Project is a left-wing funded “527” political committee to elect Democrat state candidates.

§  The purpose of the SoS Project is to place partisan results in front of political integrity and clean, honest elections.

§  A "527" political committee can accept unlimited financial contributions and doesn't have to disclose publicly until after the election.

§  The SoS Project, which has raised at least $170,836 in this election cycle, is an officially approved Democracy Alliance grantee.

o   All military personnel and their dependents, as well as overseas citizens, are guaranteed the right to vote by absentee ballot in federal elections by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA).

o   In 2010, only 4.6% of eligible military voters were able to cast an absentee ballot that was counted in the 2010 election.

In 1965, the Voter Rights Act was enacted to combat racial discrimination that denied equal access to voting.

o   In Georgia, black voter turnout for the midterm election in 2006 was 42.9% but after Georgia passed photo ID, black turnout in the 2010 midterm rose to 50.4%.

o   In Georgia, Hispanic/Latino voter turnout increased by 66.5%.

o   Black turnout also rose in Indiana and Mississippi after photo IDs were required.

Vote fraud has been found at many steps of the election process.

Congress works an abbreviated work week:

·         Congress meets on Tuesday evening and full days on Wednesday and Thursday.

o   Congress meeting on Monday or Friday is an exception.

o   Monday and Friday are reserved to allow travel back and forth to home districts.

·         Congress takes district work periods in March, May, June/July, August, and December.

·         Resolutions have been submitted to create a “virtual Congress” where lawmakers would leverage videoconferencing and other remote work technology to conduct daily duties in Washington from their home districts.

·         Congress reconvenes after elections to deal with issues they avoided before the election day (lame duck sessions) allowing outgoing politicians to vote with no accountability.

In the 112th Congress the occupation that dominates is lawyers, attracting those who practice law into a profession in charge of making laws.



No more professional politicians.

Voting is a national service obligation by each citizen.



Short Term, Reengineer election process to be more representative and more participative.

o   Require all voters to present photographic identification, issued by the federal, state, or local government, when they vote at their polling place, or to send copies of such identification when submitting an absentee ballot.

o   Require all individuals who register to vote to provide documentation establishing that they are United States citizens.

o   Require state and local election officials to verify the accuracy of new voter registration information against other available state and federal databases.

o   Require an individual who registers by mail to vote in person the first time they vote.

o   Require all individuals who register to vote through the use of mail-in forms, whether they are mailed back to election officials or hand-delivered by the individual or third-party organizations, to comply with the applicable HAVA provision.

o   Require all third-party organizations (like ACORN) that conduct voter registration drives to put the name of their organization and the volunteer or employee handling each registration on the voter registration form and require all completed forms to be returned to election officials by such organizations within ten days of the date the forms are executed by the voter.

o   Facilitate voting by overseas members of the military by requiring that all absentee ballots being sent to UOCAVA voters be mailed at least 45 days prior to the election deadline or alternatively by express mail or electronic means so the ballots will be received by voters in time to be returned.

o   Require all state courts to notify election officials when individuals whose names are drawn from the registration rolls are excused from jury duty because they claim they are not U.S. citizens or no longer live in the jurisdiction.

o   Require the state to enter into agreements with other states, especially neighboring states, to compare voter registration lists to find voters who are registered in more than one state.

o   Prosecute election fraud to the fullest extent of the law.

o   Develop systems allowing servicemen overseas the ability to vote electronically and their votes counted back in their home districts.

o   Require unique voter identification (social security number) to ensure citizens only vote once.

o   Enact tax incentive (credit) to encourage voting participation.

o   Enable electronic e-voting to enable citizens to vote remotely (via internet).

o   Ensure all valid absentee ballots are counted.

Repeal the 17th Amendment, returning Senator selection to the state legislatures.

Repeal the Voting Rights Act since this emergency (5 year) provision has achieved its desired effect and has morphed into a partisan gerrymandering provision.

Enable Senators and Representatives to govern from their home districts.

Repeal Permanent Apportionment Act, limiting size of House

o   Redistrict design based on Minimal distance to district center or zip codes.

Long Term, Eliminate direct campaign contributions..

Repeal Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) passed in 2002 as structurally unfair.

Conduct nationwide Presidential primary(s) available to all states (rotating series of regional primaries.

Enact Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits for all federal political offices (12 years max).

Ensure Congress composed of citizen legislators.

Compensate members of the House and Senate similar to their constituents.

Enact Constitutional Amendment to extend concept of Recall to members of Congress, both representatives and senators.

Enact Constitutional Amendment to authorize a Presidential federal line item veto to limit “earmarks” and “pork projects.”



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“Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire: 100,000 Stolen Votes in Chicago” by Hans A. von Spakovsky dated April 16, 2008 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/LegalIssues/lm23.cfm .

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Gerrymandering’s Lower Turnout” by David Broder dated June 26, 2008 published by Real Clear Politics at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/06/gerrymanderings_lower_turnout.html .

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Identification Required” by Deroy Murdock dated October 14, 2008 published by National Review Online at http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=Yzc0ZjZhMjdjNzU5MzEzNGU0ODg3ODA5MThjNWZmMDc= .

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“Washington Knows Best” by Peter Ferrara dated December 30, 2009 published by The American Spectator at http://spectator.org/archives/2009/12/30/washington-knows-best .

“Repeal the 17th Amendment” by Tony Blankley dated January 27, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/TonyBlankley/2010/01/27/repeal_the_17th_amendment .

“Redistricting, Race, and the Voting Rights Act” by Abigail Thernstrom dated April 6, 2010 published by American Enterprise Institute at http://www.aei.org/article/101881 .

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“The 17th Amendment Revisited” by Thomas E. Brewton dated July 6, 2010 published by The Land of the Free at http://www.thelandofthefree.net/conservativeopinion/2010/07/06/the-17th-amendment-revisited/ .

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“Gerrymandering: The Motion Picture” by Christian Toto dated November 2, 2010 published by Pajamas Media at http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/gerrymandering-the-motion-picture/ .

“Soros Voter Counters” by Matthew Vadum dated November 2, 2010 published by The American Spectator at http://spectator.org/archives/2010/11/02/soros-vote-counters .

“Return us to a legislature made up of civilians” by David Coughlin dated December 4, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/12/return_us_to_a_legislature_mad.html 

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“A House poorly divided” by Jeff Jacoby dated December 28, 2010 published by The Boston Globe at http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/12/26/a_house_poorly_divided/ .

“Abusing the Voting Rights Act” by Hans A. Von Spakovsky dated February 23, 2011 published by National review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/260303/abusing-voting-rights-act-hans-von-spakovsky .

“Understanding the Sacrifices of Our Men and Women in Uniform and the Importance of Protecting Their Rights at Home” by Edmund P. Giambastiani, Jr. dated July 19, 2011 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Lecture/2011/08/Understanding-Sacrifices-of-Our-Men-Women-in-Uniform-Importance-Protecting-Their-Rights-at-Home .

“A Case Against Mandatory Voting” by Fred L. Smith dated July 25, 2011 published by The American Spectator at http://spectator.org/archives/2011/07/25/case-against-mandatory-voting .

“Sentencing ACORN” by Matthew Vadum dated August 18, 2011 published by Front Page Magazine at http://frontpagemag.com/2011/08/18/sentencing-acorn/ .

“New State Voting Laws: Barriers to the Ballot” by Hans von Spakovsky dated September 27, 2011 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Testimony/2011/09/New-State-Voting-Laws-Barriers-to-the-Ballot .

“The Lawyers Rule” by Alan Caruba dated September 29, 2011 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/40829 .

“Why Americans Support Voter ID Laws” by Jack Kelly dated December 27, 2011 published by Real Clear Politics at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/12/27/why_americans_support_voter_id_laws_112546.html .

“ACORN Is Up to Its Old Tricks” by Charles C.W. Cooke dated February 2, 2012 published by National Review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/289924/acorn-its-old-tricks-charles-c-w-cooke .

“Congress: Fix it or start over” by David Coughlin dated March 8, 2012 published by Canada Free Press at http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/45097

“Lessons from the Voter ID Experience in Georgia” by Hans von Spakovsky dated March 19, 2012 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/03/lessons-from-the-voter-id-experience-in-georgia .

“The Left’s National Vote Fraud Strategy Exposed” by James Simpson dated May 8, 2012 published by Accuracy in Media at http://www.aim.org/special-report/the-lefts-national-vote-fraud-strategy-exposed/ .

“Is It Time for a Virtual Congress?” by Robert Berry dated November 10, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/11/is_it_time_for_a_virtual_congress.html .

“Democrats stole the election” by David Coughlin dated November 29, 2012 published by Canada Free Press at http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/51364

“Choosing Senators: How to Rein in Federal Spending” by Jim Yardley dated February 23, 2013 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/02/choosing_senators_how_to_rein_in_federal_spending.html .

GOP lawmaker seeks ‘virtual Congress’ with telecommuting plan” by Jennifer Martinez dated March 22, 2013 published by The Hill at http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/289947-republican-proposes-letting-lawmakers-work-from-home .

Penalties for politicians” by Glenn Harlan Reynolds dated May 27, 2013 published by USA Today at http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/05/27/irs-benghazi-scandal-politicians-column/2363901/ .

Voters need some skin in the game” by David Coughlin dated Jun 12, 2013 published by American Clarion at http://www.americanclarion.com/21296/2013/06/12/voters-need-some-skin-in-the-game/ .

How to Repeal the 16th and 17th Amendments” by Theodore Koehl dated July 7, 2013 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/07/how_to_repeal_the_16th_and_17th_amendments.html .

Requiring Photographic Identification by Voters in North Carolina” by Hans A. von Spakovsky dated July 18, 2013 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/research/lecture/2013/07/requiring-photographic-identification-by-voters-in-north-carolina .

Avoiding Another 2012” by Mona Charon dated July 30, 2013 published by National Review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/article/354695/avoiding-another-2012-mona-charen .

Election Fraud: Detecting the Undetectable” by Jon N. Hall dated September 9, 2013 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/09/election_fraud_detecting_the_undetectable_1.html .

The Democrats vs. Electoral Reform” by Jon H. Hall dated October 3, 2013 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/10/the_democrats_vs_electoral_reform.html .

Politicians’ Extortion Racket” by Peter Schweizer dated October 21, 2013 published by The New York Times at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/22/opinion/politicians-extortion-racket.html?_r=0 .

Shaming Non-Voters Has No Place in a Free Society” by A. Barton Hinkle dated November 27, 2013 published by Reason at http://reason.com/archives/2013/11/27/informing-on-non-voters-has-no-place-in .

Why We Can’t Have All Elections Online” by Hans von Spakovsky dated May 25, 2014 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://blog.heritage.org/2014/05/25/why-we-cant-have-elections-online/ .

The 17th Amendment: The Irrelevant States” by Tom Toth dated September 12, 2014 published by American Clarion at http://www.americanclarion.com/17th-amendment-irrelevant-states-33617 .

Don’t Let Lame Ducks Spend Your Money” by Betsy McCaughey dated November 19, 2014 published by The American Spectator at http://spectator.org/articles/61027/dont-let-lame-ducks-spend-your-money .

It’s Delusional to Think That Voter Fraud Doesn’t Exist” by John Lott dated November 29, 2016 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2016/11/29/its-delusional-to-think-that-voter-fraud-doesnt-exist/ .

Making the case for political fraud” by Richard W. Rahn dated August 14, 2017 published by The Washington Times at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/aug/14/campaign-pledges-broken-could-lead-to-donor-lawsui/ .

Cowardly Careerists in Congress” by Paul Jacob dated October 29, 2017 published by Town Hall at https://townhall.com/columnists/pauljacob/2017/10/29/draft-n2401821 .

To Avoid Debacles Like Roy Moore, Repeal the 17th Amendment” by John Daniel Davidson dated November 16, 2017 published by The Federalist at http://thefederalist.com/2017/11/16/avoid-debacles-like-roy-moore-repeal-17th-amendment/ .

On Repealing the 17th Amendment” by T.J. Donegan dated March 15, 2018 published by https://ipatriot.com/repealing-17th-amendment/ .

The First (and Most Important) First Amendment” by Paul Jacob dated June 4, 2018 published by Town Hall at https://townhall.com/columnists/pauljacob/2018/06/04/the-first-and-most-important-first-amendment-n2486974 .

“Is it time to repeal the 17th Amendment?” by John M. DeMaggio dated August 30, 2018 published by The Hill at http://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/404337-is-it-time-to-repeal-the-17th-amendment .

It’s Time to Grow the House of Representatives, By a Lot” by Peter Preston dated September 28, 2018 published by The Resurgent at https://www.themaven.net/theresurgent/contributors/it-s-time-to-grow-the-house-of-representatives-by-a-lot-2XDXQYVwP0SUpRL-W_BAFg/?mc_cid=da85e437bc&mc_eid=3062050a98 .