Democrats Vote on a Thoroughly Undemocratic Ballot Question on Tuesday

Both parties head to the polls for their primaries tomorrow and along with that comes a series of ballot questions.

Georgia’s Democrats are blessed to have four questions get to vote on four questions, Republicans only one.

The fourth question for Democrats is an undemocratic one:

Should Georgia automatically register to vote all legal and permanent residents upon issuance of a driver’s license or state-issued ID which includes an opt-out provision?

Democrats throughout the U.S. want automatic voter registration because among other things, many of their key constituencies lag far behind other groups in terms of voter registration. But this should not be done.

While America’s voter participation levels are risibly pathetic and must increase somehow, a healthy democracy can only be one in which no voters are coerced by the state to participate. And while this measure would allow for an opt-out procedure, almost undoubtedly automatic voter registration would be nearly impossible to avoid. Tipping a system so that the state has essentially all the power is the start to an undemocratic system*.

So then what’s a better solution to our democratic system? Making the voting process easier. Have vote by mail. Have a national holiday to vote. Drop our slavish, absurd adherence to 18th-century agrarian lifestyles that have no bearing on our contemporary world and move elections to a Saturday. Or alter the concept of voter registration by not making registration mandatory or instituting same-day registration.

*I do not think this is the first step to tyranny, just that it is philosophically bad. And spare me the tripe that we live in a republic, not a democracy. While technically true it is also wrong because we live in a republic that is based on democracy.  

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Will DurantBenevoluselfiiiKathy Nobleraconteuse Recent comment authors
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Robbie
Robbie

Automatically registering people to vote just removes a barrier from participation. No one is being forced to vote. If you want to never show up to a polling place that’s your right. Voting should be made as easy as possible, and this helps do that. It’s pretty absurd to want to continually place road blocks in front of getting more folks to vote.

Whatsben
Whatsben

You bring up many good solutions, but I don’t really see how automatic registration is forcing anyone to do anything. They arent being forced to provide any extra information, what is so un-Democratic about this? I don’t have any data to back this up, but my guess would be that there are more people not registered because of ignorance of what they need to do, rather then because of a conscious decision to.

Will Durant
Will Durant

I’m fine with one person, one vote in regards to race, religion, creed, national origin, etc. Why would a person who cannot be convicted of a crime due to mental incapacity be allowed to vote? For that matter why should a person who can’t pick the name of the sitting Vice President out of a multiple choice be allowed to vote? Just getting in a booth and using your finger at random or as told to do is more contrary to a healthy democracy than not voting at all. “Participation” should include a degree of knowledge on that which you… Read more »

Will Durant
Will Durant

Speaking of the PSC, any Democrats who live in PSC District 2 and have no meaningful choices in your own primary other than the stupid straw poll may want to crossover to vote in the PSC race. No Democrat is running in November so the Republican Primary is essentially the only chance for your vote to be counted.

Whatsben
Whatsben

A lot of registered voters are already voting with no knowledge and their is nothing stopping them. The percentage of voters who go to the polls now with knowledge of every race their voting in, is probably very small. I mean how many people voting for the solicitor general even knows what they do? I think the issue is we need to do a better job of educating people. Because unless your a nut like us most people don’t have the time or patience to understand who all these people are. This ballot issue won’t make a difference one way… Read more »

Will Durant
Will Durant

Why exacerbate the problem by automatically registering anyone who gets a driver’s license, much worse a state ID because they can’t get a DL. Also a Public Service Commissioner’s vote affects most of our pocketbooks more than that of a state senator or representative as there are only 5 of them. There has been little to no publicity or debate that the incumbent Tim Echols will hardly be challenged in his quest for 6 more years. When in doubt, the ignorant invariably just select the incumbent and in the case of the PSC it invariably means the consumer loses.

Whatsben
Whatsben

I don’t see why we can’t bring more people into the process and figure out a way to educate our voters. Because having a more difficult process hasn’t made our electorate smarter. I would challenge you to go out on your street and find five random voters who can tell you what the Public Service Commission does. I live in DeKalb County where an incumbent hasn’t lost in 20 years despite being a hotbed of corruption, so I totally get your frustration. But the fact is that you have a right to vote if you an American Citizen over 18… Read more »

Benevolus
Benevolus

Why do you want to restrict people to solve the problem? If the problem is uninformed voters, why don’t you advocate for better information availability? You want to restrict voting rights because it’s easy. Those people mostly won’t fight back. It’s kinda like bullying!

Will Durant
Will Durant

OK, I’m guilty of interjecting one of my pet peeves against the deliberately uninformed voting thinking they are doing their civic duty by playing ennie-meenie-minee-mo in the booth. This group needs bullying. The separate issue is that roughly 3% of our adult population has an IQ of 70 or below. Is it bullying if I suggest that we limit the vote to those out of this population who have the gumption or whose handler or spirit guide has the gumption to get them to physically register to vote? Do you really want a mentally deficient person to automatically be assigned… Read more »

NoParty4Me
NoParty4Me

One needs to know what additional, and perhaps unnecessary demographic is involuntarily captured by an automatic voter registration. Given Georgia’s sometimes reckless distribution of voter information, I would opt-out. I agree with the theory of making it easier to register with driver’s license registration. In practice it may not be timely if someone is new to the state and expects to have a different address by the time they can vote. The same day register/vote scenario is scary unless every polling place can verify prior registration and instantly nullify it to avoid a voter voting in two places on the… Read more »

raconteuse
raconteuse

You would opt out of voting?

NoParty4Me
NoParty4Me

I would vote. I assume the “opt-out” is to opt out of automatic registration if offered during drivers license registration. I think the manual voter registration forms give a citizen more control over filling in the required and optional information. Such privacy may not be offered in an automatic voter registration process.

Kathy Noble
Kathy Noble

This is a horrible idea. I agree with your comment “that everyone should have as much autonomy from the state as possible when choosing how or if they wish to participate in any democracy.” (biting tongue… representative republic…not.. going to fight….off topic)…
Unfortunately, I see it as inevitable at some point as the evolution of technology modernizes the process. If someone isn’t motivated enough to register and learn about the issues and candidates, I would prefer they do not vote.

Whatsben
Whatsben

We all would, but it’s kind of irrelevant who you or I think should vote, it’s an American right.

elfiii
elfiii

“Automagically” register people to vote? What other fun, good things shall we empower our Nanny State government to do for us? Phooey. If you want to vote, make the effort.