From Sen. J.B. Jennings:
Just last week, Florida identified hundreds of illegal immigrants who voted in the 2012 primary election. The Pew Center recently released a report indicating that nationwide, there are more than 2 million dead voters on the active rolls.
This is a disgrace to democracy, and it occurs rampantly in Maryland. To ensure the integrity of ballots cast by Maryland voters, I have introduced a bill that will require voters to show some form of identification to cast a ballot in both primary and general elections.
You can follow the progress of this bill, SB 412, here.
My proposed legislation is reasonable and just.
It does allow for alternative forms of identification other than just a driver’s license, since not everyone has a driver’s license. And, if a voter forgets to bring their voter registration card or cannot otherwise produce a photo ID at their polling place, he or she will still be allowed to vote by provisional ballot. That ballot would then be reviewed by the Board of Elections to ensure that the vote is valid (ie., that the person claiming to vote is actually alive, and that he or she did not already vote in another county, or two, or three).
America is undoubtedly the most successful republic the world has ever known, but voter fraud threatens both its legacy and its future.
We must do something real about voter fraud, and the time is now: the U.S. Supreme Court has recently ruled that requiring Voter ID is constitutional because it does not place an undue burden on the voter.
In fact, there are 19 million more Americans with proof of identification than those that are actually registered to vote.
You need a photo ID to board an airplane, ride the train, open a bank account, or cash a check; to pick up movie and concert tickets at will-call; to go into a federal building; to buy lawn fertilizer or Sudafed; to pick up your child from school; or to apply for food stamps. Voting deserves similar protection, if not more.
Eight states—Georgia, Indiana, Texas, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Indiana and Kansas—have recently adopted laws requiring voters to present photo identification at the polls. More than half of the U.S. requires some form of ID to vote.
While some organizations like Casa de Maryland oppose such legislation, a rising number of minorities do not feel that is a fair representation of their opinions. Requiring a voter to present identification is not an issue that must be polarized in the political arena. In fact, several Democrat elected officials across the country have stood side by side with Republicans in a united effort to help pass voter ID laws.
Most notably, the state of Rhode Island’s Democrat-majority legislature recently enacted a voter identification bill, while former President Jimmy Carter has endorsed a federally mandated voter ID bill.
During a time when Americans have lost confidence in their elected officials, it is vital that we protect our most fundamental right as a democratic society. By restoring the authenticity of Election Day, the significance of the individual vote will be restored and I believe that voter turnout will actually increase rather than decay.
Background information is available at:
2 Million Dead Americans on the active Voter Roll
Please let me know your thoughts on this issue.
As always, I am proud to represent you.
Senator J.B. Jennings
Visiting Chase Elementary in Middle River
On February 6, I visited Chase Elementary School to award Kaitlyn Bookhultz an official citation as the grand prize winner of the First Annual Senator J.B. Jennings Good Citizen Essay Contest.
I was very impressed with her essay, which started by stating, “Good citizens are the backbone of American government.” Kaitlyn, I couldn’t agree more.
Thanks to the students, teachers and faculty at Chase Elementary for hosting me. We had a great discussion about democracy and what it means to be an informed citizen.
Clarification of Start Time for District 7 Night in Annapolis
Tomorrow (Monday, February 20), tours of the State House will actually take place prior to the District 7 Night in Annapolis reception. Tours will begin at 5 p.m. and last until 6 p.m. The reception begins at 6 p.m., followed by an invitation to observe the Senate proceedings with me in the chamber beginning at 8 p.m.
The complete schedule of events for this Monday the 20th is:
5:00 p.m.: Tours
6:00 p.m.: Reception
8:00 p.m.: Senate Session
You are welcome to attend any or all portions of the evening.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org and meet in Room 208 of the Lowe House Office Building for all events.
Hope to see you tomorrow night!
Random Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients
Many of you have responded with interest to the bill I proposed a few weeks ago: Senate Bill 287 would require that recipients of temporary cash assistance submit to random drug testing to receive their benefits.
I firmly believe that welfare benefits are a privilege, not a right. I participate in random drug testing for my service in the military, and thousands of Marylanders do the same when applying for employment in the private sector. I believe comparable care and attention should be paid to the distribution of temporary cash assistance funds to ensure that state funds are not spent on drugs when they should be providing food and necessities to children and families.
The bill has received significant coverage, most recently in The Washington Times.
Please spread the word and encourage other voters outside of District 7 to contact their own Senators in support of this bill. We need every vote in an uphill battle for this to pass.