Fewer People Should Vote

6 Nov

I started to talk about voting during the primary, but today I will focus on the fact that I believe we should allow fewer people to vote. Voting is, by its very nature, taking a set of factors and determining which are the best way to take a country (or state or county or soil & water management district or city or…). Obviously, it is exceedingly rare that two people will agree on everything (to quote Joel Hunter, “When two people always agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary”). Therefore, we must determine whose foibles with which we can most readily live. That is what we do when we vote.

Now, as I went to the polling place surrounded by people who couldn’t speak English, I felt like we need to re-institute literacy tests. Of course, they are currently illegal in this country, but it seems to make sense to me. If you can’t read the ballot, you shouldn’t be allowed to fill it out. Sort of like the person who can’t answer the SAT practice questions correctly, if you can’t read a basic ballot, why should you get a say equal to mine?

There was a lady at my polling place that voted for only three people on the whole ballot. The problem was all three were running for President (Roseanne Barr, Mitt Romney, and Barack Obama). They got her another ballot. Should we really be bending over backwards to get that person a say in who the next President in the United States is? I can handle someone disagreeing with me (like the ref in the Steeler-Giant game), but it’s another thing entirely to leave the decision with a group of people that have no clue. Like if they had polled people in a Bangladeshian bar for that football call. The call may be right or wrong, but those people should’t be making it. Why is this lady allowed to potentially be the deciding vote in swing state Florida?

As they begin to pass out sample ballots to the people who want one, and as people are reading it for the first time, they ask questions that should allow their vote to be disregarded. I literally heard, “Is Dowdy the guy who had that nice girl in jeans waving on the way in?” asked as someone was reviewing the ballot. People were asking if 8 were a prime number to determine their vote on that numbered amendment. My wife has a rule that I like. If you don’t know what you’re voting before you get there, you can’t vote on that issue or race.

My next soapbox is early voting. I am wholeheartedly against early voting. Now let me make two big disclaimers. Do not confuse early voting with absentee voting. I am in favor of, and have even taken advantage of, absentee voting. It allows for people who might have another commitment (ie, those with a life) to accommodate that. It also mandates that you follow certain rules and procedures to get your vote in. I like it. Additionally, if your state and/or district allows for early voting, I have no problem with your taking advantage of it. It is a right given and, if exercised, feel free to do so.

Contrariwise, the very premise of early voting is to make access to voting easier. I believe access to voting is something that should be limited. Congress Standardized Election Day in 1845 and while I am fine with that date being changed, why should individual counties and states be able to overrule Congress? The argument that today’s society needs greater access is absurd. In 1845, many people missed three days of work to vote (one to vote and two to travel [one day each way]). The reality is getting around to voting is easy enough. It is further undisputed that the more restrictions put on voting, the greater the education level of those voting.

This recent concept I commonly hear, “It doesn’t matter for whom you vote, so long as you vote” is just silly. The thought that increased numbers in voting means superior things is ludicrous. Do 5,000 additional votes on either side do anything rather than tax the people and equipment used for voting? Keeping those early voting facilities stocked adds expense to the taxpayer without a benefit other than arbitrarily increasing the number of votes.

All that having been said, it is great to live in a place where voting happens and there is a legitimate competition (as opposed to votes in, say, Cuba). I just wish the people voting were actually held to some standard so that the vote actually represented more than a coloring contest.

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4 Responses to “Fewer People Should Vote”

  1. Kirbysdance November 6, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    What is even worse is that there may be thousands of smart, educated voters in states like California, Texas, and New York, and their votes mean a fraction of those voting in Ohio, Florida, Colorado, etc. Also, I am all for voting reform and your wife's rule makes sense, but I disagree with your stance on early voting. As someone who has exclusively early voted in all the elections I have been eligible in, save 2004, I appreciate having the flexibility to vote when I want within a certain time period, and have it not restricted to one specific day. Absentee to me is the same as early voting. Should stupid people be allowed to vote? It's one of many downfalls of our democratic republic. But what other choice do we have?

  2. AskThePhatMan November 6, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    That's OK, except early voting more than triples the cost to the taxpayer while absentee voting increases cost by less than one half of one percent. Early voting is merely for convenience, while absentee voting requires foresight and following a strict set of rules. They are very different.

  3. Larry Brown November 18, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    Early voting allows things like this to happen

  4. David Hughes November 28, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

    I liked it. Excellent point(s). Next people will be emailing and texting their vote. Early voting is ridiculous. English is a must. Dont need to spell well, or be able to string a thought together. Just a basic grasp of the language please

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