Tuesday, September 28, 2010

GOP Marion County Clerk Candidate Calls Voting "a Privilege"

A special advantage, immunity, permission, right, or benefit granted to or enjoyed by an individual, class, or caste.

The fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory.

Driving is a privilege. Voting is a right.

Jana Scott doesn't get this distinction, and she wants to be the Chief Election Officer in Marion County. That should scare you.

Last night at the Decatur Township Civic Council Candidate Forum, Marion County Clerk Beth White and GOP candidate for her job, Jana Scott went head to head. Scott made it through the first question unscathed on satellite voting. She even managed to drive the line on the "I was for it before I was against it" exit ramp saying that she supports voting centers and satellite voting sites only if greater security measures are in place.

Then, she dropped it.

"Voting is a privilege," said Scott. Asked later to clarify, she again reiterated that voting is a privilege, but she added, "and a right."

According to the Constitution, the courts, Congress, and the raving crazy guy on the corner, there's no privilege. Voting's a right.

Don't believe me? The 15th Amendment sets the precedent here. The 19th Amendment addresses it as well as the 24th and 26th Amendments. It's in the Constitution, and it isn't called a privilege.

Congress has addressed the right to vote as well. In 1965, it passed the sweeping Voting Rights Act to address the disenfranchisement of many racial minorities. In 1986, Congress passed the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act giving the right of those abroad to participate in the process.

For the record, Beth White made it simple. Citing her 20 years of experience as an attorney and her nearly four years as clerk, White simply said, "Voting is a right!"

Ahh...the Clerk gets it! All the more reason to give her another four years in office!


There were other candidates at the event as well: Joe Hecko, the GOP candidate for Auditor, and John Layton, the next Marion County Sheriff were there. Also present were the GOP and Democratic candidates for Assessor, Becky Williams and Joe O'Connor.

Williams and O'Connor both cited their impeccable experience for the job. Both are supremely qualified and both credited each other for their qualifications which Becky Williams called, "nearly identical."

When asked what makes them the best candidate, Williams and O'Connor cited different qualifications. O'Connor said that he has had more varied experience working at the county level as Director of Assessment since 2007 and Deputy Assessor in Pike and Center Townships. He says he understands more of the county than Williams who has over 20 years in the Franklin Township office. Williams said that 12 years as the Franklin Township Assessor is her, "ace in the hole."

While Williams is the most credible Marion County candidate the GOP has put on the ballot this year, she still will likely not beat Joe O'Connor who is equally as qualified and has done a fine job working at the county level with current Assessor Greg Bowes dealing with all the challenges of consolidating the nine township assessors' offices into one Marion County Assessor's Office.


Paul K. Ogden said...

No, driving is not a "priilege" it is a right. That's just an old saying that's out there that has no legal basis whatsoever.

You meet the conditions for a driver's license, you have a RIGHT to a driver's license.

Driving is a conditional right...like most rights are.

PhonySpotter said...

Really? You think Williams is the most qualified GOP candidate on the side this year???

Jon E. Easter said...

She is or Mark Massa is. I was more talking about the down ballot county races, but I should have made that more clear, I guess.

Assessor and Prosecutor are two areas where the qualifications are clear for both sides.

J.Benson said...

I certainly hope voting doesn't become a conditional right. How does one abuse that? Doing it too much? Wow.

She rest assured that I'll be exercising my privilege when the time comes. Voting against the GOP.