Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Isn't voting a privilege and responsibility...

along with being a right? As I ponder the events with ACORN and possible registration fraud, and read that a dead goldfish named Princess was solicited to register to vote, and hear people in NYC tell of supporting Obama because they like his pro-life stance and running mate Sarah Palin... I wonder why we are so eager to get everyone to vote.

Go ahead and call me racist and elitist now. But really - are "get out the vote" drives a good idea? Why don't we just expect people who want to vote, to register and vote? Is it hard to do? I've registered to vote in 3 states (not all at the same time) and never found the process particularly burdensome. And if people don't care about informing themselves about an election, should we care if they don't vote?

Some other thoughts that came to me as I watched soccer practice tonight:

- Why don't we educate people on the rights and responsibilities of voting in school? Senior high school Civics, anyone? Students who turn 18 during the school year can be encouraged to register - if their parents aren't already taking care of that.

- Stop funding ACORN and other community organizer groups and give the money to county registrars of voters instead. This could enable them to set up registration events in neighborhoods throughout the year so the registrations don't come in a huge pile all at once, just before the election. If low-income neighborhoods have a particularly low number of registrations, put more resources there, but - no quotas, no bribes - if people don't want to register, don't force them. Oh, promoting a candidate in the course of work should be a firing offense.

- New residents of a community could get registration materials mailed to them. I am pretty sure that's how I've gotten registered at least a few of the many times I've moved - registrations forms just appeared in my mailbox. Surely the Postal Service is in on this?

- Stop new registrations 60 days - OK, maybe 45? - before an election so there is time to verify people. Maybe make exceptions for people who move close to the election.

- Don't let people vote if they can't answer basic questions about the candidates, such as "who is Barack Obama's running mate?" OK, I don't think we could do that. Could we?

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