Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Voter ID and Early Voting

PA just (mostly) struck down the law forcing ID for the November vote. As I understand it (a) they said it's reasonable but implemented too late in the cycle for this election and (b) no one was able to show evidence of any kind of significant voter fraud (in person: the fraud where you give someone your signed absentee ballot and envelope and they fill it in, seal it, send it, and give you money still happens).

It's also the case that several voices have come out against early voting in general. The sentiment (anti-early voting) gets vocal support on Hot Air from the commenters (less so than the poster). So I wanted to briefly address this here.
  1. If we can show that any significant number of legitimate voters will be disenfranchised by a voter ID law and cannot show that significant in-person voting fraud is happening and will be prevented by a Voter ID law then I think it's a no-brainer: you don't prevent people constitutionally entitled to vote from voting.
  2. Early voting makes it easier for more people to vote. Voting is a civic good and a civic duty. Ergo, early voting is good.
These should be conservative positions.

I Get It . . .
I do ... I really do. Firstly, historically, in the south? Voter fraud--thy name is "Democrat." And also--I get it--I really do: the people who need early voting? Who can't take 45 minutes off work to go vote in the morning? Those people, demographically? They're more likely to vote democrat. I do get it.

And if there were a mass of illegal aliens voting for Obama? They would, yes, be voting Democrat. I get it. These two positions make it easier for Democrats to get their vote out--and senior citizens who reliably (until, uh, maybe this election) vote Republican don't need an extra day off to pull the lever for the R-party line.

I get it.

But no Republican should think we should make laws restricting constitutional rights without significant evidence that this is a necessity. We would not vote for gun control on the basis of a worst case scenario and should not restrict constitutionally guaranteed voting rights without evidence that the disease is worse than the cure.

But that's as it stands now. There's a coming technologically enabled nightmare that makes me more sympathetic to the idea that there should be some kind of political literacy test to voting than you might think I'd be

The problem is going to come when, thanks to technology, anyone (eligible) can vote instantly and easily on  Facebook or through their TV. Imagine candidates having to audition on American Idol or compete in a series of Survivor like reality games in order to get the vote that everyone can cast with their remote-control, a built-in thumb-print scanner, and a 1x PIN code.

"President Kardashian? The Kremlin is on the line ..."

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