Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why Saul Alinsky Would Love Early Voting

Tom Blumer at Pajamas Media nails it:

It is becoming more obvious with each election cycle that that the widespread adoption of no-excuses-needed early voting has been a big mistake.
Read the Whole Thing, as they say.

We should not know how anyone else is voting. Saul Alinsky, in his Rules for Radicals, Barack Obama's training manual, explained that to take control, the easiest thing is to first make it appear that the system is broken.

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KnightErrant said...

Every American has the right to vote (once per election).

I am deeply disturbed by the numerous restriction on the right to vote some on the right-wing of the political spectrum advocate.

1) Wealth Test - People must have sufficient wealth to have a home address to be allowed to vote. With all of the recent foreclosures there are over 1 million homeless Americans today (671,888 in Jan. 2007). Being homeless should not deprive anyone of the right to vote.

2) Free Time Test - People working ten to twelve hours a day have limited time to vote (even less adding in commutes). Long lines at polling places before and after work makes it impossible for millions to vote. Mail-in ballots and early voting gives people more time to vote.

3) Excessive Paperwork Test - Some states are requiring levels of identifying paperwork that exceeds the ability of elderly, poor, and rural Americans to obtain. The right to vote ought to be sacrosanct and not dependent on jumping over bureaucratic roadblocks.

The right of all Americans to vote is something I would expect freedom loving conservatives and freedom loving liberals would agree on. I am both surprised and disappointed that is not the case.

Loren Heal said...

But knight, to make voting easy (which I agree is good), we don't need a system that promotes corruption, as the current one does.

People need a home address to vote for two reasons: identification and authorization. We need to be sure that the John Smith in front of us attempting to vote is the John Smith we think he is, and that this John Smith votes in only this place. That means having one, and only one, home address. It doesn't mean owning property. It does mean declaring a residence.

In general, you're taking a rare exception (there are not millions of homeless people) and trying to shoehorn the common case to fit them, rather than designing a system that well fits both the common case and the rare case.

The result is a giant hole in the integrity of the voting process, one I think Democrats are all too happy to exploit.

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