Shandrew (shandrew) wrote,

  • Music:

On absentee/mail-in voting

Here's a letter I wrote to George Will and Newsweek. I often agree with George Will's opinions (except on baseball), especially his yearly urging for clueless voters to stay at home, but i think he went too far this year by saying that lowering the barriers to voting lowers the quality of the voters.
Subject: Absentee voters are the hard workers, not the lazy

Mr. Will,

I disagree with your sentiment that, "surely the quality of
the electoral turnout declines when the quantity is
increased by 'convenience voting'". Your calculation is that
people who cannot spend time at voting sites are lazy,
uninterested, and uninformed.

Effort is certainly one aspect in going to a polling place,
but a far greater one is Time. Many who value their time
cannot spend time in line waiting to vote, particularly if
they live in poorer areas which tend to have understaffed
and underfunded polling sites (see Ohio's urban areas 2004).

Those with the highest time value are our tax base. People
who work hard, especially those who have two jobs, or blue
collar jobs, or work by the hour, are the ones who sacrifice
the most by taking the time to visit a polling place. These
are the people who support our country with their
work. These are the people who benefit most from voting by
mail. You do them a disservice by attributing them with sloth.

If you argue that less convenient voting makes for higher
quality votes, would you agree to mandate a four hour wait
in line for all voters? Surely that would push voting to the
point where only the most dedicated of people would vote.

In a related piece of hilarity, apparently Sarah Palin's soon-to-be son-in-law failed to register to vote and cannot vote in the November election:
[Levi] Johnston didn't register in time to vote, according to the Mat-Su Division of Elections Office in Wasilla. But he's still rooting for John McCain and Sarah Palin.

"I just hope she wins," he said. "She's my future mother-in-law. She better win."

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