Saturday, April 9, 2011

A way to silence DC, PR statehood proposals

DC non-voting delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton's been running her mouth lately, raising awareness of the peculiar relationship betweeen her constituents and Congress. Periodically, we hear of efforts to bring statehood to the District, or Puerto Rico; less often the US Virgin Islands or Guam. The driving force behind these movements is usually the electoral reality that the proposed states are expected to reliably send Democrats to Congress. I've done some thinking about the "fairness" argument, and I believe I have a solution.

Both my eldest brother and Monsterette 1’s husband have served in the US Air Force, maintaining legal residence in KS while living and working in OK, CO, TX, Japan, etc. They filled out KS resident income tax forms, and could vote in our elections. I am thus inspired to propose a Constitutional amendment that will forever negate the “DC statehood” nonsense. As an added bonus, I'm taking out Motor Voter and other sources of fraudulent voting.

Amendment ___

1. The Twenty-Third article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

2. Those persons who are citizens of the United States, but maintain their primary physical residence outside of all of the several States, whether in a territory subject to the jurisdiction of the United States or any foreign State; may declare to the United States their State of citizenship among any of the several states. They are then subject to such taxes as that State may levy upon its citizens, and if otherwise qualified, are entitled to vote in that State’s elections.

3. Congress shall have the power to make uniform regulations regarding such declarations, which shall assure that no person asserts citizenship in two or more States concurrently. The regulations may set a minimum period of citizenship in one State before a new declaration may be made, which may not exceed twenty months.

4. Congress shall have no power to limit such laws as a State may impose to require prior registration and/or positive identification before voting in an election, provided that the statutory deadline for such registration be no more than a hundred days before the first day that votes may be cast in that election.
As a practical matter, if this could be passed, I'd expect most of the residents of DC who exercise this option to declare themselves MD citizens, as the District was formed from MD and it's most convenient for them to travel there to deal with state government issues. I'm less certain about US citizens living in other places; those in PR would probably choose FL, but some might decide to virtually join family in other states, such as NY.

Does anyone see a downside to this idea? I'm trying to imagine ACORN organizing to get everyone in DC to declare residence in a particular state to sway an election there, but I just don't see how they'd actually carry it out.

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