Thursday, January 06, 2005

Election Reform

I've been listening to the democrats in Congress moan and whine about the unfair elections in Ohio. They are challenging the electoral votes from that state. It's not going to go anywhere of course.

I do agree with them that some reforms need to be made. I wonder if we would agree beyond that.

Gerrymandering is going to be with us for a few more years I'm afraid. I had heard of Iowa's system but that is the first time I've seen a map of their districts. It looks great. This is a true bipartisan deal though. It won't change anytime soon because both parties like to draw the districts to protect their incumbants. Their favorite trick is to put two members of the opposite party in the same district.

My suggestions for election reform start with the voter rolls. First, I would require showing some form of ID at the polls when you go to vote. Virginia instituted this a few years ago and it had been a sucess. There is a safety valve that if you don't have an ID card, you can cast a provisional ballot. When I go to Blockbuster to rent a movie, I have to prove I am who I am. It doesn't seem to unreasonable to ask the same when I vote.

The next thing would be to keep the rolls current. Streamline the system to purge names off the list if they haven't voted in a certain number of years. Provide a safety by sending a postcard allowing the person to renew their registration. If the card isn't returned, off they go. Aren't you supposed to update your address with the voter registrar anyway?

Voting is a responsibility. As a responsibility, it requires a little effort on our part.

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