It’s off to Kenya for President Obama and the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit being held July 25-26 in Nairobi, Kenya.
The summit was first hosted by the U.S. at Washington, D.C., in 2010. Since then, it has expanded to a multinational event hosted by Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, and Morocco. I’m not real sure why the president is trying to build entrepreneurship for primarily the Muslim world but the administration supports committing roughly $3.2 billion to cultivate micro, small, and medium sized enterprises. Eighty million will be available for start-up accelerators in the developing world through development financing institutions and programs. But what about areas of Detroit, South Chicago, Saint Louis, Los Angeles and Baltimore that are practically third-world countries? Couldn’t these areas use some entrepreneurial encouragement?
Speculation has it that North Carolinia’s the Rev. William Barber and his Moral Monday group may not be part of the president’s entourage attending the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. Moral Monday’s lack of inclusion could be understandable — after all, the White House did put out a fact sheet entitled “U.S. Support for Strengthening Democratic Institutions, Rule of Law, and Human Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa.” And this initiative did include a $53 million expenditure by the White House to create Kenya’s National Identification Card system, a prerequisite to voter registration. And as we all are aware Moral Monday did protest and demonstrate against a similar North Carolina voter I.D card system.
Along with Voter I.D. cards, another aspect of Kenya’s voter system that would not set well with Moral Monday is that Kenya only requires a single day to vote, as did North Carolina before we stopped voting our principles and started voting for superficial trinkets. Today, early voting lasts 10 days, and yet that doesn’t seem to be enough for the trinket peddlers. Why then are Kenyans able to vote in one day when Kenya’s population is 40 million, and North Carolina is only 10 million? Kenya is 4.5 times the size of North Carolina. Is it that Kenyans really want to vote? No air-conditioned union or church buses drive them to the poles, but many walked for miles — why? Because they want to vote. Voters start lining up before dawn with lines in some cases nearly a mile long, — why? They want to vote! Some that are in line during the hottest part of the day bring umbrellas and some bring water to splash on themselves, but they all have their Voter I.D. cards.
Unlike North Carolina, in Kenya you hear nothing about voter I.D. cards suppressing voter’s rights, or accusations of racism. Quite the contrary, voter I.D. cards became necessary after decades of single-party presidential elections. Past presidents such as Mwai Kibaki were corrupt, liberal and incompetent, yet Kibaki was declared the winner amid scenes of chaos in 2007 elections. Later, the head of the electoral commission said he had been pressured by members of Kibaki’s National Unity Party and could not be sure who had won. Systematic electoral fraud including vote-rigging, stuffed ballot boxes and corrupt election officials had a decisive impact on the outcome of the Kenyan elections. Since that time a constant restructuring and refinement, including voter I.D. cards, has progressively evolved. The uninformed in North Carolina may dismiss these corrupt political events as something that happens in Africa and is no reflection of North Carolina’s elections.
In actuality it is just as easy to rig an election in North Carolina as it was in Kenya, that is until voter photo I.D. cards. How? All voters, — Democrat, Republican, or unaffiliated — are all registered. This list of registered voters is kept locally in your county board of elections and anyone may request a copy. Voter’s registration lists are available in print form or on a disc. Normally a copy is less than $50. Once you have this list of registered voters, all you need do is look for the designation that tells how active a voter is. When you find an individuals who has not voted for several elections, simply memorize their name and address. Once at your precinct you state your name, you are asked to verify your addresses. No other I.D. required. Moral Monday may try to tell you there’s no history of major voter fraud in North Carolina, when in fact this type voter fraud is completely undetectable.
North Carolina should get rid of this expensive, wasteful ten day early voting cycle. North Carolinians have available 3,495,804 registered automobiles, about one automobile for every 2.9 residents. Our counties have roads, streets, cabs, some even have free air-conditioned union and church buses to transport them to vote. For those who really want to vote for their principles the Friday, Saturday, and Monday before Election Day are more than adequate. Those who merely want to vote for superficial trinkets, however, may never have enough time.
Mark Scheck is chairman of the Scotland County GOP.