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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