Color America surprised: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie today vetoed legislation, the Democracy Act, that would have added 1.6 million voters through automatic voter registration. The Times of Trenton Editorial Board called the Democracy Act, which was passed by the State Senate at the end of June, “a light in the darkness,” an overhaul which “would usher in a new day in New Jersey, ensuring a more robust democracy by broadening access to the polls.”
Well. We can’t have that: No Republican likes to hear there will be more voters, because more voters means more votes against.
Christie understands that as well as anyone, and so, employing typically sordid Repubican logic, he said, as his excuse back in June, “In New Jersey, we have early voting that are available to people. I don’t want to expand it and increase the opportunities for fraud.”
Right. Because there is virtually no fraud now, if you add voters, you will suddenly become inundated with fraud. Given how fraudulent Christie has already been proven to be (e.g. Bridgegate), this sort of comment should raise some eyebrows. Does he seriously expect anyone to believe him?
Today he called the Democracy Act “wasteful” and “politically motivated.” It is difficult to see how engaging more people to vote could be anything less than politically motivated, just as it is impossible to see keeping people from voting as anything but politically motivated.
The difference is that one act has good motives and the other bad. One reinforces democracy. The other weakens it. According to Christie, the Democracy Act would “recklessly replaced New Jersey’s reliable and cost-effective early voting process with a hasty and counterproductive system that would cost taxpayers $25 million initially and millions more each subsequent year.”
So what? A pittance. And money well spent. Because otherwise, what we have is Chris Christie denying voter registration to 1.6 million people because not letting people vote is a remedy for voter fraud.
But money is not his real problem. Christie doesn’t mind spending money. But hey, he has plenty of excuses:
“I reject this government-knows-best, backward approach that would inconvenience citizens and waste government resources for no justifiable reason. New Jersey taxpayers deserve better than to have their hard-earned tax dollars spent on thinly-veiled political gamesmanship and the state must ensure that every eligible citizen’s vote counts and is not stolen by fraud.”
Government knows best? As if his veto is not an example of government knows best?
Bah. He’s a bully. What does he care what people think? If he did, he’d been a lot more popular. As of October, there are 26 states and the District of Columbia, that allow online voter registration. It is hardly a surprise that New Jersey is not one of them.
Chris Christie has taken the typically Republican reaction to making it easier to vote. He has told the people of New Jersey that he doesn’t care about what they think, which may have a little tit-for-tat in it, given Christie’s performance at the polls telling him that America decreasingly cares what he thinks.