Saturday, July 19, 2008

Some people aren't supposed to vote


Guess these folks were too good at registering new citizens.

The county [Santa Clara in California] registered 3,140 new voters at naturalization ceremonies in the four months before the new policy went into effect, but only 557 new voters registered in the four months since. Registrars signed up as many as 65 percent of new citizens before the change, but just 8 percent registered at the most recent ceremony in June.

San Jose Mercury News,
July 19, 2008

And what was the change? Instead of giving the citizens-to-be their registration cards before the ceremony, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services decided the papers must be withheld until afterwards -- and then the new citizens should be rushed out of the building.

Before the policy was changed, the new citizens were shown a video about how to fill out the cards and used the down time during the ceremony to get it done.

Citizenship and Immigration Services has come up with two explanations for its restrictive policy change. First they said they were responding to a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security that required the new procedure. Local employees said there had been "a memo" from Washington. They also claimed logistical problems because the venue for the swearing in has to accommodate three ceremonies a day.

Perhaps what really worries someone is this:

... because of the huge jump in the number of citizenship applications last year, the agency expects to naturalize - in Santa Clara County - as many as 10,000 new citizens in special ceremonies in August.

New citizen voters do change the electorate.

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