Wednesday, March 9, 2011

On Voting

Every once in a while, Mary Mancini and I get into a dialogue (of sorts) about voting, voting fraud, and the like, which usually results in frustration on both sides. So, here's a short list of my views on the matter:

1. Most voting fraud "activists" on either side only care about stopping or otherwise curtailing voting fraud if they feel like the "fraud" in question hurts their political side/helps the other side.

2. Most reported instances of voting machines issues/errors are some form of user error but because no one wants to offend voters it's easier to just blame the machines or the machine makers.

3. There is nothing inherently wrong with "low" voter turnout, or, for that matter, voter turnout at any level, so long as people who want to vote have a reasonable opportunity to do so.

4. There is no social good served by people who have no interest in voting going to the polls to vote. That's why the system generally works out quite well as is; these people sort themselves out of the process: they just don't vote.

5. Wanting "everyone" to vote necessarily means forcing people who have no interest in voting to vote. So, make fun of Paul Weyrich if you wish, but his position is more sound than the opposite position, unless you actually believe that forcing otherwise disinterested people to vote is a good thing.