Skip to comments.Why Should Massachusetts Beg Anyone to Vote?
Posted on 08/13/2012 3:44:04 AM PDT by Kaslin
SENATOR SCOTT BROWN is right. For the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to be mailing voter-registration forms to nearly 480,000 welfare recipients at a cost to taxpayers of more than $275,000 is indeed "outrageous," as the Republican incumbent declared last week. The vast get-out-the-welfare-vote campaign "smells wrong," he says. So it does, but not for the reason he claims.
The key problem with the mass-mailing nudging everyone on the state's welfare rolls to register to vote isn't that it was prompted by a lawsuit filed by several left-wing advocacy groups, one of which -- Demos -- is chaired by the daughter of Brown's leading challenger, Elizabeth Warren. It isn't that public funds and records are being deployed to drum up votes among people considerably more likely to support Democrats instead of Republicans. And it isn't that state officials agreed to settle the activists' lawsuit so quickly as to suggest the whole thing was choreographed in advance a ploy to benefit the party that dominates Bay State politics and already controls the rest of the congressional delegation.
What's truly objectionable here is the goal that supposedly justifies the whole operation: the idea that states should do all they can to make registering to vote and casting a ballot as easy as possible.
Coaxing welfare recipients to vote isn't a new idea. Under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 the "Motor Voter" law states are required to provide anyone applying for a driver's license, or for public assistance, with the chance to register to vote. Motor Voter also obliges states to accept voter registrations by mail, with no proof of residence or citizenship required -- an obvious invitation to chicanery. I once registered a cat to vote in three different states, then wrote a column describing just how easy it had been to exploit Motor Voter's loopholes.
Not surprisingly, voter rolls are often found to be padded with bogus or illegal registrations. In 2004, the New York Daily News reported that 46,000 registered New York City voters were simultaneously registered in Florida and that at least 1,000 of them had voted twice in the same election. In many cities today, journalist John Fund and legal scholar Hans von Spakovsky observe in Who's Counting? a new book on the fraud and sloppiness that plague American elections there are more names on the voter rolls than the total number of adults enumerated by the US Census.
Yet none of seems to shakes the popular belief that everyone should be pushed to participate in elections that higher voter turnout is good for American democracy, and that anything that makes voting more likely should therefore be encouraged. Even if it means sending absentee ballots to the occasional cat. Or cajoling people to register when they sign up for food stamps, without even asking whether they're eligible to vote.
Motor Voter is only part of the problem. Voters in most of the country no longer have to wait until Election Day to exercise their franchise. In several states this year polling places will be opening as early as September. Other states allow residents to request an absentee ballot without having to give a reason, while at least two states, Washington and Oregon, now conduct all their elections by mail. Some jurisdictions have even begun experimenting with voting over the Internet.
This isn't rational public policy, it's a fetish. We have gone overboard with this notion that voting must be as effortless and convenient as possible, and that even people with no interest in voting ought to be wheedled or hectored into voting anyway.
Higher voter turnout is no proof of civic health. Voting is only a means, not the end, of democratic self-government. Of course every citizen has the right to vote, including those who are ignorant, apathetic, or indifferent. But why should Americans who take their vote seriously want to increase electoral participation by those who don't?
Registering to vote isn't complicated. By and large, Americans who don't vote don't want to vote. In 2008 the Census Bureau found that by far the largest share of unregistered voters (46 percent) reported that they were "not interested in the election [or] not interested in politics." Their nonparticipation is rational, and we should respect it.
That seems way underestimated. $275K would just be the postage and not include the wages of the 15 bureaucrats it takes to put the letters in the mailbox (or should I say, watch the computer print the letters out and conveyor them to the mailbox).
Scott Brown got out maneuvered on this one. Warren slut is gonna win this thing.
It’s Massachusetts we really cannot expect any better.
John Kerry-Traitor, Viet Nam war, band aid hero
Barney Frank—The man who started the housing disaster.
and now the fake Indian.
Anyone who see’s that Massachusetts gets a lion’s share of Congressional graft can be elected in Massachusetts.
They have voter registration forms in welfare centers when they file for welfare or food stamps.
But guess what, I bet a lot of them wouldn’t vote for Obama this time. So go ahead and keep sending those forms at taxpayer expense darling... They’ll remember who sent them there and vote against Obama.
I’m sure they know plenty of people who lost jobs, are broke, can no longer afford to feed their families, ended up forced to be a ‘day care’ due to non-work, taking rowdy kids from who knows where into their homes with their kids. A lot of the younger baby mamas don’t work because Burger King can’t cover the child care and transit. They have to focus on getting child support and close their legs. There are retirees aplenty, that worked all their lives and now have to face going to apply for food stamps... after spending their lives building this country. Horrible.
By all means, keep mailing Lizzie.
You dropped the lede:
You left out the swimmer
I would have posted this if you had not. This trajectory of increased facilitation of left wing fraud spells the end of valid Democratic elections, enabling demonic liberalism, which has always sought “to climb up some other way” (Jn. 10:1) to gain position and power, to succeed even when the MSM has failed to motivate enough valid votes.
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