The opinions stated in this article are solely those of the author and not of The Davis Clipper.
Officials of the Utah Democratic Party were furious last week that 76,000 men and women were removed from the voter rolls.s In contrast, I applaud the move. In fact, I oppose efforts to make voting too easy.
We don’t need more voters; we need more informed voters who care enough to take the time to get off their sofas and exercise their constitutional voting franchise.
The 76,000 removed from the rolls were Utahns who haven’t gone to the polls in at least two major election cycles. It’s not that they weren’t notified; they didn’t respond to a mailed request to update their voting interest. Many have probably moved and don’t live at the same address or voting district.
So why keep them on the rolls? That’s like saying a bank should keep sending credit card applications to someone who hasn’t used his Visa in eight years! If voting is such a precious part of democracy and citizenship, we shouldn’t fall over ourselves to beg people who are otherwise too disinterested or lazy to walk or drive five minutes to a voting booth every two to four years. Not only shouldn’t we beg them, we also shouldn’t listen to them when they gripe about their government or their elected officials.
With the exception of absentee voting by people living out of the country, I am also not a fan of vote-by-mail ballots. Sure, it’s easy Р just put a stamp on the envelope Р but these voters are risking missing an event that could change their vote. (Remember the Utah sheriff who just before the election fired a deputy for catching the sheriff’s son driving while drunk? The early vote-by-mail folks complained they wanted their vote back!)
Some people even favor allowing Americans to vote online. That’s all we need, some guy knocking down four beers at a tavern, listening to a fellow drunk talking nonsense at the bar, then going home and casting a ballot. Unless you work for Coors, that’s not democracy in action.
The promotion of early voting sites (Oct. 23-Nov.2) is a sensible compromise to increase voting. Voters will still need to turn off the television and drive to a city hall or library to cast a ballot. It’s a smart way to ease long lines on election day while still attracting people who feel voting is important.
For more information check out the Oct 18 edition of Davis Clipper.