Commentary: A Cautionary Tale of Unintended Consequences

For as long as politicians have been passing legislation, there have been measurable consequences to that legislation – both intentional and unintentional. Usually, the final impact is not known for years after a law is passed. We could write a book predicting problems with the proposed federal bill, H.R.1, the so-called For the People Act, but the state of Connecticut has given American taxpayers a timely preview of the burdens and waste we can expect from just one of the bill’s many government mandates. Specifically, the requirement that states must mail out ballot applications to all registered voters will unnecessarily spend, and ultimately waste, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.

The 2020 elections in Connecticut provide a cautionary preview of this proposed requirement in H.R. 1 to send absentee ballot applications (ABR) to every registered voter. Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill (pictured) did exactly that, spending $7.1 million in federal taxpayer money sending out unsolicited ABRs for the primary and general elections. A total of 3.6 million applications were mailed, yet only 865,000 were converted to actual votes. That’s a cost of $8.20 per ballot returned – by any measure, a poor yield on that investment.

The sad irony about this waste of taxpayers’ money is that the applications were available to voters free of charge either at town halls or on the State of Connecticut website. One had only to pick up the form in person or download and print it in the comfort of his own home. Other states have similarly convenient options for obtaining ABRs and provide for ballot applications to be requested online, by email or by phone. Citizens in these states take responsibility for their right to vote, and the states facilitate their doing so, rather than mandate it.

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Commentary: Elections Have Consequences; Cheating Doesn’t

Barack Obama liked to remind us that “elections have consequences.”

Boy, do they! For conservatives like me, the months since Democrats took over the White House and the Senate have been a tsunami of consequences. How do you think I like it when Joe Biden’s handlers aim 60 executive orders at the tip of his pen to effectuate a fundamental transformation of this country? Or when the Democrat-controlled Congress tries to push through statehood for the District of Columbia in order to guarantee their continued control of the Senate? Or when the southern border is turned into a 2,000-mile illegal-immigrant processing center?

Unfortunately, the dictum that “elections have consequences” is not recognized as a legitimate principle when Republicans defeat Democrats. That was obvious when Donald Trump won the 2016 election and spent the next four years being vilified as a Russian puppet, a racist and a danger to the republic. You see, Democrats consider elections to be their most legitimate means of seizing power, but not necessarily the most effective. For them, politics is the continuation of war by other means, and they have been waging war against not just Republicans, but against the Constitution for at least the last 50 years.

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