One Man, Six Votes?

By James R. Edwards, Jr. on June 16, 2010

If you thought the U.S. Department of Justice's job was to ensure electoral fairness and equal justice under law for every legitimate American voter, think again. And what is happening in Port Chester, N.Y., likely foreshadows mass immigration's harmful effects on the land of e pluribus unum.

In that suburb, DOJ and a complicit federal judge ordered that town elections take place using a scheme practically intended to ensure race-based election results. That's right, the standard of one man, one vote is being abrogated by official sanction.

The Justice Department and a federal court gave each voter in that N.Y. town six votes each. Why? Explicitly "to help boost Hispanic representation," the Associated Press has reported.

This federally mandated ballot box stuffing came about because the Voting Rights Section of Justice focuses myopically on electoral outcomes instead of whether the electoral process is free of fraud and funny business. "Although the village of about 30,000 residents is nearly half Hispanic, no Latino had ever been elected to any of the six trustee seats, which until now were chosen in a conventional at-large election," AP reported.

For anybody paying attention, this sort of ethnic identity politics not only flies in the face of such American ideals as "out of many, one," the "melting pot," and healthy patriotic assimilation and Americanization – that is, our mythic immigration heritage. Rather, race-based electoral outcomes manipulation – forced by the police power of the government – feeds disharmony. Or "the disuniting of America," to borrow Arthur Schlesinger's foreboding book title. This is a slippery slope and it only leads one direction.

When Prof. James Gimpel and I wrote on a similar subject a decade ago, the million-a-year legal immigration flood was fairly recent. Well, it's entrenched now. And it runs on automatic pilot due to family chain migration. Legal immigration at those levels constitutes a pipeline of people who, assimilated or not, can become voters in five years. Elections emphasizing skin color and ethnic outcomes over fairness spell the demise of the greatest, freest, most egalitarian nation the world has ever known.

Former DOJ official Hans von Spakovsky has noted how the supposed colorblind one-man, one-vote standard is intended to safeguard American citizens against having their votes diluted by immigrants who haven't become U.S. citizens:

But aliens, particularly illegal aliens, are an entirely different class of individuals who are not entitled to dilute the voting strength of actual citizens who are making electoral decisions about their representatives in our democratic system. As Judge Kozinski said in the Garza case, what is at issue is "electoral equality" and since "one person one vote protects a right uniquely held by citizens, it would be a dilution of that right to allow noncitizens to share therein."

When the Justice Department and the courts stack the deck against patriotic assimilation, substituting identity politics for the colorblind content of candidates' character, "rotten boroughs" misplacing congressional apportionment based on noncitizens are the lesser of our worries. And runaway legal immigration feeds the beast that attacks its own citizens' rights of representation and self-government.